Deontic Logic

Edited by Matteo Pascucci (Slovak Academy of Sciences, Central European University)
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Summary Deontic logic can be described as the rigorous study of the deductive and semantic behaviour of normative concepts.
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  1. De las pericias con que el gobernador Sancho Panza resolvió la Paradoja del Suicida.Luis Felipe Bartolo Alegre - manuscript
    This is the story of how the noble squire Sancho Panza, while governing what he thought to be an insula, ingeniously solved a paradox not unlike those of modern logic.
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  2. A Spurious Paradox.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Niko Kolodny and John MacFarlane claim that a situation involving some trapped miners involves a deontic paradox the resolution of which requires rejecting the logical law of modus ponens. I show that the appearance of paradox results from confusion and that the miners case supplies no cogent reason for impugning modus ponens.
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  3. David Lewis' Semantics for Deontic Logic.Holly Smith - manuscript
    Mind, Vol. LXXXVI (April, 1977) pp. 242-248.
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  4. An Inconsistency-Adaptive Deontic Logic for Normative Conflicts.Mathieu Beirlaen, Christian Strasser & Joke Meheus - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic.
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  5. Inheritance: Professor Procrastinate and the Logic of Obligation.Kyle Blumberg & John Hawthorne - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Inheritance is the principle that deontic `ought' is closed under entailment. This paper is about a tension that arises in connection with Inheritance. More specifically, it is about two observations that pull in opposite directions. One of them raises questions about the validity of Inheritance, while the other appears to provide strong support for it. We argue that existing approaches to deontic modals fail to provide us with an adequate resolution of this tension. In response, we develop a positive analysis, (...)
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  6. Deontic Logic and Natural Language.Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Dov Gabbay, Ron van der Meyden, John Horty, Xavier Parent & Leandert van der Torre (eds.), The Handbook of Deontic Logic (Vol. II). College Publications.
    There has been a recent surge of work on deontic modality within philosophy of language. This work has put the deontic logic tradition in contact with natural language semantics, resulting in significant increase in sophistication on both ends. This chapter surveys the main motivations, achievements, and prospects of this work.
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  7. Deontic Logics Based on Boolean Algebra.Pablo F. Castro & Piotr Kulicki - forthcoming - In Robert Trypuz (ed.), Krister Segerberg on Logic of Actions. Springer.
    Deontic logic is devoted to the study of logical properties of normative predicates such as permission, obligation and prohibition. Since it is usual to apply these predicates to actions, many deontic logicians have proposed formalisms where actions and action combinators are present. Some standard action combinators are action conjunction, choice between actions and not doing a given action. These combinators resemble boolean operators, and therefore the theory of boolean algebra offers a well-known athematical framework to study the properties of the (...)
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  8. A Two-Dimensional Logic for Two Paradoxes of Deontic Modality.Melissa Fusco & Alexander W. Kocurek - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-32.
    In this paper, we axiomatize the deontic logic in Fusco, which uses a Stalnaker-inspired account of diagonal acceptance and a two-dimensional account of disjunction to treat Ross’s Paradox and the Puzzle of Free Choice Permission. On this account, disjunction-involving validities are a priori rather than necessary. We show how to axiomatize two-dimensional disjunction so that the introduction/elimination rules for boolean disjunction can be viewed as one-dimensional projections of more general two-dimensional rules. These completeness results help make explicit the restrictions Fusco’s (...)
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  9. Contextual Factors in Deontic Reasoning.Keith J. Holyoak & Patricia W. Cheng - forthcoming - Thinking and Reasoning.
  10. On Logic of Strictly-Deontic Modalities. A Semantic and Tableau Approach.Tomasz Jarmużek & Mateusz Klonowski - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1.
    Standard deontic logic (SDL) is defined on the basis of possible world semantics and is a logic of alethic-deontic modalities rather than deontic modalities alone. The interpretation of the concepts of obligation and permission comes down exclusively to the logical value that a sentence adopts for the accessible deontic alternatives. Here, we set forth a different approach, this being a logic which additionally takes into consideration whether sentences stand in relation to the normative system or to the system of values (...)
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  11. The Explanatory Problem for Cognitivism About Practical Reason.Errol Lord - forthcoming - In Conor McHugh Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical.
    Cognitivists about practical reason hold that we can explain why certain wide-scope requirements of practical rationality are true by appealing to certain epistemic requirements. Extant discussions of cognitivism focus solely on two claims. The first is the claim that intentions involve beliefs. The second is that whenever your intentions are incoherent in certain ways, you will be epistemically irrational. Even if the cognitivist successfully defends these claims, she still needs to show that they entail certain practical requirements. That is, she (...)
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  12. A Two-Dimensional Logic for Two Paradoxes of Deontic Modality.Fusco Melissa & Kocurek Alexander - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic.
    In this paper, we axiomatize the deontic logic in Fusco 2015, which uses a Stalnaker-inspired account of diagonal acceptance and a two-dimensional account of disjunction to treat Ross’s Paradox and the Puzzle of Free Choice Permission. On this account, disjunction-involving validities are a priori rather than necessary. We show how to axiomatize two-dimensional disjunction so that the introduction/elimination rules for boolean disjunction can be viewed as one-dimensional projections of more general two-dimensional rules. These completeness results help make explicit the restrictions (...)
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  13. Deontic Logic and Ethics.Shyam Nair - forthcoming - In Gabbay, John Horty, Xavier Parent, Ron van der Meyden & Leon van der Torre (eds.), Handbook of Deontic Logic and Normative System, Volume 2. College Publications.
    Though there have been productive interactions between moral philosophers and deontic logicians, there has also been a tradition of neglecting the insights that the fields can offer one another. The most sustained interactions between moral philosophers and deontic logicians have notbeen systematic but instead have been scattered across a number of distinct and often unrelated topics. This chapter primarily focuses on three topics. First, we discuss the “actualism/possibilism” debate which, very roughly, concerns the relevance of what one will do at (...)
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  14. Three Forms of Actualist Direct Consequentialism.Shyam Nair - forthcoming - Utilitas.
    One family of maximizing act consequentialist theories actualist direct theories. Indeed, historically there are at least three different forms of actualist direct consequentialism (due to Bentham, Moore, and contemporary consequentialists). This paper is about the logical differences between these three actualist direct theories and the differences between actualist direct theories and their competitors. Three main points emerge. First, the sharpest separation between actualist direct theories and their competitors concerns the so-called inheritance principle. Second, there are a myriad of other logical (...)
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  15. Sequent Calculi and Interpolation for Non-Normal Modal and Deontic Logics.Eugenio Orlandelli - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1.
    G3-style sequent calculi for the logics in the cube of non-normal modal logics and for their deontic extensions are studied. For each calculus we prove that weakening and contraction are height-preserving admissible, and we give a syntactic proof of the admissibility of cut. This implies that the subformula property holds and that derivability can be decided by a terminating proof search whose complexity is in Pspace. These calculi are shown to be equivalent to the axiomatic ones and, therefore, they are (...)
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  16. A Legal Grounding for Deontic Logic.Clayton Peterson - forthcoming - (Soumis).
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  17. Contrastive Consent and Secondary Permissibility.Theron Pummer - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Consider three cases: -/- Turn: A trolley is about to kill five innocent strangers. You can turn the trolley onto me, saving the five and killing me. -/- Hurl: A trolley is about to kill five innocent strangers. You can hurl me at the trolley, saving the five and paralyzing me. -/- TurnHurl: A trolley is about to kill five innocent strangers. You can turn the trolley onto me, saving the five and killing me. You can instead hurl me at (...)
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  18. The Paradox of Epistemic Obligation Avoided.Michael J. Shaffer - forthcoming - The Reasoner.
    This short paper offers a skeptical solution to Åqvist's paradox of epistemic obligation. The solution is based on the contention that in SDL/KDT logics the externalist features of knowledge, about which we cannot have obligations, are obscured.
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  19. Iterated Modalities and the Parallel Between Deontic and Modal Logic.E. J. Szewak - forthcoming - Logique Et Analyse.
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  20. On Deontic Action Logics Based on Boolean Algebra.Robert Trypuz & Piotr Kulicki - forthcoming - Journal of Logic and Computation.
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  21. From Ideal Worlds to Ideality.Craig Warmke - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    In common treatments of deontic logic, the obligatory is what's true in all deontically ideal possible worlds. In this article, I offer a new semantics for Standard Deontic Logic with Leibnizian intensions rather than possible worlds. Even though the new semantics furnishes models that resemble Venn diagrams, the semantics captures the strong soundness and completeness of Standard Deontic Logic. Since, unlike possible worlds, many Leibnizian intensions are not maximally consistent entities, we can amend the semantics to invalidate the inference rule (...)
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  22. Medicine Is a Deontic Discipline.Kazem Sadegh-Zadeh - 2nd ed. 2015 - In Handbook of Analytic Philosophy of Medicine. Springer Verlag.
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  23. Disease as a Deontic Construct.Kazem Sadegh-Zadeh - 2nd ed. 2015 - In Handbook of Analytic Philosophy of Medicine. Springer Verlag.
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  24. Deontic Logic, Weakening and Decisions Concerning Disjunctive Obligations.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - Logos and Episteme 13 (1):93-102.
    This paper introduces two new paradoxes for standard deontic logic (SDL). They are importantly related to, but distinct from Ross' paradox. These two new paradoxes for SDL are the simple weakening paradox and the complex weakening paradox. Both of these paradoxes arise in virtue of the underlaying logic of SDL and are consequences of the fact that SDL incorporates the principle known as weakening. These two paradoxes then show that SDL has counter-intuitive implications related to disjunctive obligations that arise in (...)
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  25. Deontic Concepts and Their Clash in Mīmāṃsā: Towards an Interpretation.Elisa Freschi & Matteo Pascucci - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):659-703.
    The article offers an overview of the deontic theory developed by the philosophical school of Mīmāṃsā, which is, and has been since the last centuries BCE, the main source of normative concepts in Sanskrit thought. Thus, the Mīmāṃsā deontics is interesting for any historian of philosophy and constitutes a thought-provoking occasion to rethink deontic concepts, taking advantage of centuries of systematic reflections on these topics. Some comparison with notions currently used in Euro-American normative theories and metaethical principles is offered in (...)
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  26. Axiomatizing Norms Across Time and the 'Paradox of the Court'.Daniela Glavaničová & Matteo Pascucci - 2021 - In Fenrong Liu, Alessandra Marra, Paul Portner & Frederik Van de Putte (eds.), DEON 2020/2021. College Publications. pp. 201-218.
    In normative reasoning one typically refers to intervals of time across which norms are intended to hold, as well as to alternative possibilities representing hypothetical developments of a given scenario. Thus, deontic modalities are naturally intertwined with temporal and metaphysical ones. Furthermore, contemporary debates in philosophy suggest that a proper understanding of fundamental ethical principles, such as the Ought-Implies-Can thesis, requires a simultaneous analysis of these three families of concepts. In the present article we propose a general formal framework which (...)
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  27. Alternative Semantics for Normative Reasoning with an Application to Regret and Responsibility.Daniela Glavaničová & Matteo Pascucci - 2021 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 30 (4):653-679.
    We provide a fine-grained analysis of notions of regret and responsibility (such as agent-regret and individual responsibility) in terms of a language of multimodal logic. This language undergoes a detailed semantic analysis via two sorts of models: (i) relating models, which are equipped with a relation of propositional pertinence, and (ii) synonymy models, which are equipped with a relation of propositional synonymy. We specify a class of strictly relating models and show that each synonymy model can be transformed into an (...)
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  28. The Good, the Bad and the Right. Formal Reductions Among Deontic Concepts.Daniela Glavaničová & Matteo Pascucci - 2021 - Bulletin of the Section of Logic 50 (2):151-176.
    The present article provides a taxonomic analysis of bimodal logics of normative ideality and normative awfulness, two notions whose meaning is here explained in terms of the moral values pursued by a given community. Furthermore, the article addresses the traditional problem of a reduction among deontic concepts: we explore the possibility of defining other relevant normative notions, such as obligation, explicit permission and Hohfeldian relations, in terms of ideality and awfulness. Some proposals in this respect, which have been formulated in (...)
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  29. Modeling Legal Conflict Resolution Based on Dynamic Logic.Fengkui Ju, Karl Nygren & Tianwen Xu - 2021 - Journal of Logic and Computation 31 (4):1102-1128.
    Conflicts between legal norms are common in reality. In many legislations, legal conflicts between norms are resolved by applying ordered principles. This work presents a formalization of the conflict resolution mechanism and introduces action legal logic (⁠ALL) to reason about the normative consequences of possibly conflicting legal systems. The semantics of ALL is explicitly based on legal systems consisting of norms and ordered principles. Legal systems specify the legal status of transitions in transition systems and the language of ALL describes (...)
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  30. Moral Principles: Hedged, Contributory, Mixed.Aleks Knoks - 2021 - In Deontic Logic and Normative Systems 2020/21.
    It's natural to think that the principles expressed by the statements "Promises ought to be kept" and "We ought to help those in need" are defeasible. But how are we to make sense of this defeasibility? On one proposal, moral principles have hedges or built-in unless clauses specifying the conditions under which the principle doesn't apply. On another, such principles are contributory and, thus, do not specify which actions ought to be carried out, but only what counts in favor or (...)
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  31. Deontic Logic and Normative Systems: 15th International Conference, DEON 2020/2021.Fenrong Liu, Alessandra Marra, Paul Portner & Frederik Van De Putte (eds.) - 2021 - College Publications.
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  32. Formalizing Reasons, Oughts, and Requirements.Robert Mullins - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7 (22):568-599.
    Reasons-based accounts of our normative conclusions face difficulties in distinguishing between what ought to be done and what is required. This article addresses this problem from a formal perspective. I introduce a rudimentary formalization of a reasons-based account and demonstrate that that the model faces difficulties in accounting for the distinction between oughts and requirements. I briefly critique attempts to distinguish between oughts and requirements by appealing to a difference in strength or weight of reasons. I then present a formalized (...)
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  33. Supererogation and Conditional Obligation.Daniel Muñoz & Theron Pummer - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 2021:1-15.
    There are plenty of classic paradoxes about conditional obligations, like the duty to be gentle if one is to murder, and about “supererogatory” deeds beyond the call of duty. But little has been said about the intersection of these topics. We develop the first general account of conditional supererogation, with the power to solve familiar puzzles as well as several that we introduce. Our account, moreover, flows from two familiar ideas: that conditionals restrict quantification and that supererogation emerges from a (...)
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  34. Normative Parties in Subject Position and in Object Position.Tereza Novotná & Matteo Pascucci - 2021 - In Martin Blicha & Igor Sedlár (eds.), The Logica Yearbook 2020. College Publications. pp. 147-164.
    We analyze some normative relations as instances of a general schema of relations among a finite number of parties; in this schema parties can play various roles grouped into two main conceptual layers, called 'subject position' and 'object position'. Relying on the theoretical apparatus introduced, we develop a new symbolic representation for normative reasoning which constitutes an alternative to approaches available in the literature. Our contribution includes a semantic characterization for a series of logical systems built over the proposed framework.
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  35. Deontic Logic Based on Inquisitive Semantics.Karl Nygren - 2021 - In Fenrong Liu, Alessandra Marra, Paul Portner & Frederik Van De Putte (eds.), Deontic Logic and Normative Systems: 15th International Conference, DEON 2020/2021. London: College Publications. pp. 339-357.
    This paper introduces deontic logic based on inquisitive semantics. A semantics for action formulas is introduced where each action formula is associated with a set of alternatives. Deontic operators are then interpreted as quantifying over all alternatives associated with the action formulas within their scope. It is shown how this construction provides solutions to problems related to free choice permissions and obligations, including issues concerning Hurford disjunctions. The main technical result is a complete axiomatization of the logic.
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  36. The Search for Symmetry in Hohfeldian Modalities.Matteo Pascucci & Giovanni Sileno - 2021 - In Amrita Basu, Gem Stapleton, Sven Linker, Catherine Legg, Emmanuel Manalo & Petrucio Viana (eds.), Diagrammatic Representation and Inference. Proceedings of Diagrams 2021. Springer. pp. 87-102.
    In this work we provide an analysis of some issues arising with geometrical representations of a family of deontic and potestative relations that can be classified as Hohfeldian modalities, traditionally illustrated on two diagrams, the Hohfeldian squares. Our main target is the lack of symmetry to be found in various formal accounts by drawing analogies with the square of opposition for alethic modalities. We argue that one should rather rely on an analogy with the alethic hexagon of opposition and exploit (...)
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  37. Eugenio Bulygin: una breve semblanza.Julieta A. Rabanos & Alejandro Daniel Calzetta - 2021 - Revista Cubana de Derecho 1 (2):11-22.
    El presente texto trata de ofrecer una breve semblanza de la figura de Eugenio Bulygin, reconocido académico y teórico del derecho, fallecido el pasado 11 de mayo de 2021.
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  38. Why Formal Objections to the Error Theory Fail.Bart Streumer & Daniel Wodak - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):254-262.
    Many philosophers argue that the error theory should be rejected because it is incompatible with standard deontic logic and semantics. We argue that such formal objections to the theory fail. Our discussion has two upshots. First, it increases the dialectical weight that must be borne by objections to the error theory that target its content rather than its form. Second, it shows that standard deontic logic and semantics should be revised.
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  39. The Varieties of Ought-Implies-Can and Deontic STIT Logic.Kees van Berkel & Tim Lyon - 2021 - In Fenrong Liu, Alessandra Marra, Paul Portner & Frederik Van De Putte (eds.), Deontic Logic and Normative Systems: 15th International Conference.
    STIT logic is a prominent framework for the analysis of multi-agent choice-making. In the available deontic extensions of STIT, the principle of Ought-implies-Can (OiC) fulfills a central role. However, in the philosophical literature a variety of alternative OiC interpretations have been proposed and discussed. This paper provides a modular framework for deontic STIT that accounts for a multitude of OiC readings. In particular, we discuss, compare, and formalize ten such readings. We provide sound and complete sequent-style calculi for all of (...)
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  40. Truthmakers and Normative Conflicts.Albert Anglberger & Johannes Korbmacher - 2020 - Studia Logica 108 (1):49-83.
    By building on work by Kit Fine, we develop a sound and complete truthmaker semantics for Lou Goble’s conflict tolerant deontic logic BDL.
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  41. Deontology of Compound Actions.Janusz Czelakowski - 2020 - Studia Logica 108 (1):5-47.
    This paper, being a companion to the book [2] elaborates the deontology of sequential and compound actions based on relational models and formal constructs borrowed from formal linguistics. The semantic constructions presented in this paper emulate to some extent the content of [3] but are more involved. Although the present work should be regarded as a sequel of [3] it is self-contained and may be read independently. The issue of permission and obligation of actions is presented in the form of (...)
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  42. Social Ontology and Social Normativity.Brian Donohue - 2020 - Dissertation, University at Buffalo
    Many recent accounts of the ontology of groups, institutions, and practices have touched upon the normative or deontic dimensions of social reality (e.g., social obligations, claims, permissions, prohibitions, authority, and immunity), as distinct from any specifically moral values or obligations. For the most part, however, the ontology of such socio-deontic phenomena has not received the attention it deserves. In what sense might a social obligation or a claim exist? What is the ontological status of such an obligation (e.g., is it (...)
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  43. A Realistic View on Normative Conflicts.Daniela Glavaničová & Matteo Pascucci - 2020 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 29 (3):447-462.
    Kulicki and Trypuz (2016) introduced three systems of multivalued deontic action logic to handle normative conflicts. The first system suggests a pessimistic view on normative conflicts, according to which any conflicting option represents something forbidden; the second system suggests an optimistic view, according to which any conflicting option represents something obligatory; finally, the third system suggests a neutral view, according to which any conflicting option represents something that is neither obligatory nor forbidden. The aim of the present paper is to (...)
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  44. Permissibility Is the Only Feasible Deontic Primitive.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):117-133.
    Moral obligation and permissibility are usually thought to be interdefinable. Following the pattern of the duality definitions of necessity and possibility, we have that something’s being permissible could be defined as its not being obligatory to not do it. And that something’s being obligatory could be defined as its not being permissible to not do it. In this paper, I argue that neither direction of this alleged interdefinability works. Roughly, the problem is that a claim that some act is obligatory (...)
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  45. From Oughts to Goals: A Logic for Enkrasia.Dominik Klein & Alessandra Marra - 2020 - Studia Logica 108 (1):85-128.
    This paper focuses on the Enkratic principle of rationality, according to which rationality requires that if an agent sincerely and with conviction believes she ought to X, then X-ing is a goal in her plan. We analyze the logical structure of Enkrasia and its implications for deontic logic. To do so, we elaborate on the distinction between basic and derived oughts, and provide a multi-modal neighborhood logic with three characteristic operators: a non-normal operator for basic oughts, a non-normal operator for (...)
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  46. From Permissions to Obligations and Beyond: An Editorial.P. Kulicki & O. Roy - 2020 - Studia Logica 108 (1):1-3.
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  47. A Bimodal Simulation of Defeasibility in the Normative Domain.Tomer Libal, Matteo Pascucci, Leendert van der Torre & Dov Gabbay - 2020 - In Proceedings of FCR-2020. CEUR Workshop Proceedings. pp. 41-54.
    In the present work we illustrate how two sorts of defeasible reasoning that are fundamental in the normative domain, that is, reasoning about exceptions and reasoning about violations, can be simulated via monotonic propositional theories based on a bimodal language with primitive operators representing knowledge and obligation. The proposed theoretical framework paves the way to using native theorem provers for multimodal logic, such as MleanCoP, in order to automate normative reasoning.
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  48. Understanding Hohfeld and Formalizing Legal Rights: The Hohfeldian Conceptions and Their Conditional Consequences.Réka Markovich - 2020 - Studia Logica 108 (1):129-158.
    Hohfeld’s analysis on the different types of rights and duties is highly influential in analytical legal theory, and it is considered as a fundamental theory in AI&Law and normative multi-agent systems. Yet a century later, the formalization of this theory remains, in various ways, unresolved. In this paper I provide a formal analysis of how the working of a system containing Hohfeldian rights and duties can be delineated. This formalization starts from using the same tools as the classical ones by (...)
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  49. Fault Lines in Ethical Theory.Shyam Nair - 2020 - In Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. Oxford University Press. pp. 67-92.
    The verdicts standard consequentialism gives about what we are obligated to do crucially depend on what theory of value the consequentialist accepts. This makes it hard to say what separates standard consequentialist theories from non-consequentialist theories. This article discusses how we can draw sharp lines separating standard consequentialist theories from other theories and what assumptions about goodness we must make in order to draw these lines. The discussion touches on cases of deontic constraints, cases of deontic options, and cases involved (...)
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  50. Disentangling Deontic Positions and Abilities: A Modal Analysis.Giovanni Sileno & Matteo Pascucci - 2020 - In Proceedings of CILC 2020. CEUR Workshop Proceedings. pp. 36-50.
    Computational systems are traditionally approached from control-oriented perspectives; however, as soon as we move from centralized to decentralized computational infrastructures, direct control needs to be replaced by distributed coordination mechanisms that are on par with institutional constructs observable in human societies (contracts, agreements, enforcement mechanisms, etc.). This paper presents a formalization of Hohfeld's framework building upon a logic whose language includes primitive operators of ability and parametric deontic operators. The proposal is meant to highlight the fundamental interaction between deontic and (...)
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