Agency and obligation

Synthese 108 (2):269 - 307 (1996)
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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore a new deontic operator for representing what an agent ought to do; the operator is cast against the background of a modal treatment of action developed by Nuel Belnap and Michael Perloff, which itself relies on Arthur Prior's indeterministic tense logic. The analysis developed here of what an agent ought to do is based on a dominance ordering adapted from the decision theoretic study of choice under uncertainty to the present account of action. It is shown that this analysis gives rise to a normal deontic operator, and that the result is superior to an analysis that identifies what an agent ought to do with what it ought to be that the agent does.

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John Horty
University of Maryland, College Park

Citations of this work

Deontic logic.Paul McNamara - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The irreducibility of collective obligations.Allard Tamminga & Frank Hindriks - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):1085-1109.
Moral conflicts between groups of agents.Barteld Kooi & Allard Tamminga - 2008 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 37 (1):1-21.

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References found in this work

Modal Logic: An Introduction.Brian F. Chellas - 1980 - Cambridge University Press.
Past, Present and Future.Arthur N. Prior - 1967 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Agency and Deontic Logic.John F. Horty - 2001 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

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