von Wright’s Therapy to Jørgensen’s Syndrome

Law and Philosophy 28 (2):163 - 201 (2009)
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In his last papers about deontic logic, von Wright sustained that there is no genuine logic of norms. We argue in this paper that this striking statement by the father of deontic logic should not be understood as a death sentence to the subject. Rather, it indicates a profound change in von Wright's understanding about the epistemic and ontological role of logic in the field of norms. Instead of a logical constructivism of deontic systems revealing a necessary structure of prescriptive discourse, which marked his earlier efforts, he adopted the view that such systems should be seem as mere objects of comparison, i.e. as providing practical standards of rationality for normgiving activity. Within such view he proposed an interpretation of standard deontic logic in such a way to free deontic logicians from the philosophical difficulties related to the so-called Jørgensen's dilemma and deontic paradoxes. This effort, as we claim in the present paper, is an application of Wittgenstein's therapeutic method to dissolve philosophical difficulties caused by the use of logical tools to model relations between norms



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Deontic logic.G. H. von Wright - 1951 - Mind 60 (237):1-15.
I. deontic logic.G. H. von Wright - 1951 - Mind 60 (237):1-15.
Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics.Michael Dummett - 1959 - Philosophical Review 68 (3):324-348.
Some Remarks on Logical Form.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1929 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 9 (1):162 - 171.

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