Semantics for more plausible deontic logics


Authors
Sven Ove Hansson
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
Abstract
In order to avoid the paradoxes of standard deontic logic, we have to give up the semantic construction that identifies obligatory status with presence in all elements of a subset of the set of possible worlds. It is proposed that deontic logic should instead be based on a preference relation, according to the principle that whatever is better than something permitted is itself permitted. Close connections hold between the logical properties of a preference relation and those of the deontic logics that are derived from it in this way. The paradoxes of SDL can be avoided with this construction, but it is still an open question what type of preference relation is best suited to be used as a basis for deontic logic.
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