A semantics for means-end relations

Synthese 158 (2):207 - 231 (2007)
Abstract
There has been considerable work on practical reasoning in artificial intelligence and also in philosophy. Typically, such reasoning includes premises regarding means–end relations. A clear semantics for such relations is needed in order to evaluate proposed syllogisms. In this paper, we provide a formal semantics for means–end relations, in particular for necessary and sufficient means–end relations. Our semantics includes a non-monotonic conditional operator, so that related practical reasoning is naturally defeasible. This work is primarily an exercise in conceptual analysis, aimed at clarifying and eventually evaluating existing theories of practical reasoning (pending a similar analysis regarding desires, intentions and other relevant concepts).
Keywords Means–end relations  Propositional dynamic logic  Formal semantics  Practical reasoning
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References found in this work BETA
Michael Bratman (1983). Taking Plans Seriously. Social Theory and Practice 9 (2/3):271-287.
Sven Ove Hansson (2000). Formalization in Philosophy. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 6 (2):162-175.

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Citations of this work BETA
Ilkka Niiniluoto (forthcoming). Values in Design Sciences. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
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