In this essay, I provide a general overview on some of the main solutions offered to the never-ending problem of the semantic meaning of imperatives. After a short introduction (§1), I focus on legal theory, considering both the current trend (§2), and the prominent accounts developed in the period comprised between the late sixties and the early nineties (the “heydays” of linguistic analysis). I use a similar scheme also for the analysis of some of the main theories developed by philosophers of language (§§ 3-4). Each section contains a few objections to the accounts under consideration: in this way, it will be possible for the reader to get a “balanced assessment” of the theoretical models at stake. The chapter ends with a couple of concluding remarks.
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