There has been a recent surge of work on deontic modality within philosophy of language. This work has put the deonticlogic 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.
John Horty effectively develops deonticlogic (the logic of ethical concepts like obligation and permission) against the background of a formal theory of agency. He incorporates certain elements of decision theory to set out a new deontic account of what agents ought to do under various conditions over extended periods of time. Offering a conceptual rather than technical emphasis, Horty's framework allows a number of recent issues from moral theory to be set out clearly and discussed (...) from a uniform point of view. (shrink)
Deonticlogic 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 classic deontic operators when applied to actions. In his seminal work, Segerberg uses constructions coming from boolean algebras to formalize the usual deontic notions. Segerberg’s work provided the initial step to understand logical properties of deontic operators when they are applied to actions. In the last years, other authors have proposed related logics. In this chapter we introduce Segerberg’s work, study related formalisms and investigate further challenges in this area. (shrink)
There seems to be no clear consensus in the existing literature about the role of deonticlogic in legal knowledge representation — in large part, we argue, because of an apparent misunderstanding of what deonticlogic is, and a misplaced preoccupation with the surface formulation of legislative texts. Our aim in this paper is to indicate, first, which aspects of legal reasoning are addressed by deonticlogic, and then to sketch out the beginnings of (...) a methodology for its use in the analysis and representation of law.The essential point for which we argue is that deonticlogic — in some form or other —needs to be taken seriously whenever it is necessary to make explicit, and then reason about, the distinction between what ought to be the case and what is the case, or as we also say, between the ideal and the actual. We take the library regulations at Imperial College as the main illustration, and small examples from genuinely legal domains to introduce specific points. In conclusion, we touch on the role of deonticlogic in the development of the theory of normative positions. (shrink)
It is well known that systems of action deonticlogic emerging from a standard analysis of permission in terms of possibility of doing an action without incurring in a violation of the law are subject to paradoxes. In general, paradoxes are acknowledged as such if we have intuitions telling us that things should be different. The aim of this paper is to introduce a paradox-free deontic action system by (i) identifying the basic intuitions leading to the emergence (...) of the paradoxes and (ii) exploiting these intuitions in order to develop a consistent deontic framework, where it can be shown why some phenomena seem to be paradoxical and why they are not so if interpreted in a correct way. (shrink)
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 some future time to what one ought to do at present (§2). This topic is also used to introduce various modal deontic logics. Second we discuss the particularism debate which, very roughly, concerns whether there can be any systematic general theory of what we ought to do (§3). This topic is also used to introduce various non-modal deontic logics. Third, we discuss collective action problems which concern the connection between the obligations of individuals and the behavior and obligations of groups of individuals (§4).This topic is also used to discuss formal systems that allow us to study the relationship between individuals and groups. The chapter also contains a general discussion of the relation between ethical theory and deonticlogic (§1) and a brief consideration of other miscellaneous topics (§5). (shrink)
A considerable number of books and papers have analyzed normative concepts using new techniques developed by logicians; however, few have bridged the gap between the English legal culture and the Continental tradition in legal philosophy. This book addresses this issue by offering an introductory study on the many possibilities that logical analysis offers the study of legal systems. The volume is divided into two sections: the first covers the basic aspects of classical and deonticlogic and its connections, (...) advancing an explanation of the most important topics of the discipline by comparing different systems of deonticlogic and exploring some of the most important paradoxes in its domain. The second section deals with the role of logic in the analysis of legal systems by discussing in what sense deonticlogic and the logic of norm-propositions are useful tools for a proper understanding of the systematic structure of law. (shrink)
When a conflict of duties arises, a resolution is often sought by use of an ordering of priority or importance. This paper examines how such a conflict resolution works, compares mechanisms that have been proposed in the literature, and gives preference to one developed by Brewka and Nebel. I distinguish between two cases – that some conflicts may remain unresolved, and that a priority ordering can be determined that resolves all – and provide semantics and axiomatic systems for accordingly defined (...) dyadic deontic operators. (shrink)
Situationist deonticlogic is a model of that fraction of normative discourse which refers to only one situation and one set of alternatives. As we can see from a whole series of well-known paradoxes, standard deonticlogic (SDL) is seriously mistaken even at the situationist level. In this paper it is shown how a more realistic deonticlogic can be based on the assumption that prescriptive predicates satisfy the property of contranegativity. A satisfactory account (...) of situation-specific norms is a necessary prerequisite for a successful treatment of more complex normative structures. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to develop a class of semantic tableau systems for some dyadic deontic logics. We will consider 16 different pure dyadic deontic tableau systems and 32 different alethic dyadic deontic tableau systems. Possible world semantics is used to interpret our formal languages. Some relationships between our systems and well known dyadic deontic logics in the literature are pointed out and soundness results are obtained for every tableau system. Completeness results are obtained (...) for all 16 pure dyadic deontic systems and for 16 alethic dyadic deontic systems. (shrink)
Deonticlogic originated from moral philosophy and the philosophy of law as an attempt to formalise normative and legal reasoning. This book draws on the experience of researchers - working in fields as diverse as Artificial Intelligence, linguistics, computer system specification and law - who have discovered the benefits of deonticlogic when applied to solving computer science and AI problems. A useful logic in which to specify normative system behaviour, deonticlogic has (...) a broad spectrum of possible applications within the field: from legal expert systems to natural language processing, database integrity to electronic contracting and the specification of fault-tolerant software. This book provides a unique and timely assessment of the practical value of deonticlogic for computer scientists in AI and law and, more particularly, in such areas as distributed AI and intelligent cooperative information systems. (shrink)
The formal language studied in this paper contains two categories of expressions, terms and formulas. Terms express events, formulas propositions. There are infinitely many atomic terms and complex terms are made up by Boolean operations. Where and are terms the atomic formulas have the form = ( is the same as ), Forb ( is forbidden) and Perm ( is permitted). The formulae are truth functional combinations of these. An algebraic and a model theoretic account of validity are given and (...) an axiomatic system is provided for which they are characteristic.The closure principle, that what is not forbidden is permitted is shown to hold at the level of outcomes but not at the level of events. In the two final sections some other operators are considered and a semantics in terms of action games. (shrink)
In Meyer’s promising account  deonticlogic is reduced to a dynamic logic. Meyer claims that with his account “we get rid of most (if not all) of the nasty paradoxes that have plagued traditional deonticlogic.” But as was shown by van der Meyden in , Meyer’s logic also contains a paradoxical formula. In this paper we will show that another paradox can be proven, one which also effects Meyer’s “solution” to contrary to (...) duty obligations and his logic in general. (shrink)
We develop a multi-agent deontic action logic to study the logical behaviour of two types of deontic conditionals: (1) conditional obligations, having the form "If group H were to perform action aH, then, in group F's interest, group G ought to perform action aG" and (2) conditional permissions, having the form "If group H were to perform action aH, then, in group F's interest, group G may perform action aG". First, we define a formal language for multi-agent (...)deontic action logic and a class of consequentialist models to interpret the formulas of the language. Second, we define a transformation that converts any strategic game into a consequentialist model. Third, we show that an outcome a* is a Nash equilibrium of a strategic game if and only if a conjunction of certain conditional permissions is true in the consequentialist model that results from the transformation of that strategic game. (shrink)
Deonticlogic is standardly conceived as the logic of true statements about the existence of obligations and permissions. In his last writings on the subject, G. H. von Wright criticized this view of deonticlogic, stressing the rationality of norm imposition as the proper foundation of deonticlogic. The present paper is an attempt to advance such an account of deonticlogic using the formal apparatus of update semantics and dynamic (...) class='Hi'>logic. That is, we first define norm systems and a semantics of norm performatives as transformations of the norm system. Then a static modal logic for norm propositions is defined on that basis. In the course of this exposition we stress the performative nature of (i) free choice permission, (ii) the sealing legal principle and (iii) the social nature of permission. That is, (i) granting a disjunctive permission means granting permission for both disjuncts; (ii) non-prohibition does not entail permission, but the authority can declare that whatever he does not forbid is thereby permitted; and (iii) granting permission to one person means that all others are committed to not prevent the invocation of that permission. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to introduce a system of dynamic deonticlogic in which the main problems related to the de finition of deontic concepts, especially those emerging from a standard analysis of permission in terms of possibility of doing an action without incurring in a violation of the law, are solved. The basic idea is to introduce two crucial distinctions allowing us to differentiate (i) what is ideal with respect to a given code, which (...) fixes the types of action that are abstractly prescribed, and what is ideal with respect to the specific situation in which the agent acts, and (ii) the transitions associated with actions and the results of actions, which can obtain even without the action being performed. (shrink)
We present the inconsistency-adaptive deonticlogic DP r , a nonmonotonic logic for dealing with conflicts between normative statements. On the one hand, this logic does not lead to explosion in view of normative conflicts such as O A ∧ O ∼A, O A ∧ P ∼A or even O A ∧ ∼O A. On the other hand, DP r still verifies all intuitively reliable inferences valid in Standard DeonticLogic (SDL). DP r interprets (...) a given premise set ‘as normally as possible’ with respect to SDL. Whereas some SDL-rules are verified unconditionally by DP r , others are verified conditionally. The latter are applicable unless they rely on formulas that turn out to behave inconsistently in view of the premises. This dynamic process is mirrored by the proof theory of DP r. (shrink)
The program put forward in von Wright's last works defines deonticlogic as ``a study of conditions which must be satisfied in rational norm-giving activity'' and thus introduces the perspective of logical pragmatics. In this paper a formal explication for von Wright's program is proposed within the framework of set-theoretic approach and extended to a two-sets model which allows for the separate treatment of obligation-norms and permission norms. The three translation functions connecting the language of deontic (...) class='Hi'>logic with the language of the extended set-theoretical approach are introduced, and used in proving the correspondence between the deontic theorems, on one side, and the perfection properties of the norm-set and the ``counter-set'', on the other side. In this way the possibility of reinterpretation of standard deonticlogic as the theory of perfection properties that ought to be achieved in norm-giving activity has been formally proved. The extended set-theoretic approach is applied to the problem of rationality of principles of completion of normative systems. The paper concludes with a plaidoyer for logical pragmatics turn envisaged in the late phase of Von Wright's work in deonticlogic. (shrink)
We use a deonticlogic of collective agency to study reducibility questions about collective agency and collective obligations. The logic that is at the basis of our study is a multi-modal logic in the tradition of *stit* logics of agency. Our full formal language has constants for collective and individual deontic admissibility, modalities for collective and individual agency, and modalities for collective and individual obligations. We classify its twenty-seven sublanguages in terms of their expressive power. (...) This classification enables us to investigate reducibility relations between collective deontic admissibility, collective agency, and collective obligations, on the one hand, and individual deontic admissibility, individual agency, and individual obligations, on the other. (shrink)
. The current literature in the Artificial Intelligence and Law field reveals uncertainty concerning the potential role of deonticlogic in legal knowledge representation. For instance, the Logic Programming Group at Imperial College has shown that a good deal can be achieved in this area in the absence of explicit representation of the deontic notions. This paper argues that some rather ordinary parts of the law contain structures which, if they are to be represented in (...) class='Hi'>logic, will call for use of a reasonably sophisticated deonticlogic. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to eÂ»tahlish some connections between precedent-based reasoning as it is studied in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Law, particularly in the work of Ashley, and two other fields: deonticlogic and nonmonotonic logic. First, a deonticlogic is described that allows lor sensible reasoning in the presence of conflicting norms. Second, a simplified version of Ashley's account of precedent-based reasoning is reformulated within the framework of this deontic (...)logic. Finally, some ideas from the theory of nonmonotonic inheritance are employed to show how Ashley's account might be elaborated to allow for a richer representation of the process of argumentation. (shrink)
This is the latest volume in the Workshops in Computing series and contains papers to be presented at the Third International Workshop on DeonticLogic in Computer Science to be held in Sesimbra, Portugal 11 - 13 January 1996. It contains a variety of contributions covering the relationship between deontic logics, logics of action and normative systems. The papers range from the theoretical studies of the logical and conceptual tools needed, to studies of various applications. The resulting (...) volume will be of interest to researchers working in a variety of fields from philosophy, logic and legal theory, through to artificial intelligence and computer/management sciences. (shrink)
We present a new axiomatization of the deontic fragment of Anderson's relevant deonticlogic, give an Andersonian reduction of a relevant version of Mally's deonticlogic previously discussed in this journal, study the effect of adding propositional quantification to Anderson's system, and discuss the meaning of Anderson's propositional constant in a wide range of Andersonian deontic systems.
The present volume is a sequel to DeonticLogic: Introductory and Systematic Readings : its purpose is to offer a view of some of the main directions of research in contemporary deonticlogic. Most of the articles included in Introductory and Systematic Readings represent what may be called the standard modal approach to deonticlogic, in which de on tic logic is treated as a branch of modal logic, and the normative concepts (...) of obligation, permission and prohibition are regarded as analogous to the "alethic" modalities necessity, possibility and impossibility. As Simo Knuuttila shows in his contribution to the present volume, this approach goes back to late medieval philosophy. Several 14th century philosophers observed the analogies between deontic and alethic modalities and discussed the deontic interpretations of various laws of modal logic. In contemporary deonticlogic the modal approach was revived by G. H. von Wright's classic paper 'DeonticLogic'. Certain analogies between deontic and alethic modalities are obvious and uncontroversial, but the standard approach has often been criticized on the ground that it exaggerates the analogies and tends to ignore those features of normative concepts which distinguish them from other modalities. (shrink)
Relevant to philosophy, law, management, and artificial intelligence, these papers explore the applicability of nonmonotonic or defeasible logic to normative reasoning. The resulting systems purport to solve well-known deontic paradoxes and to provide a better treatment than classical deonticlogic does of prima facie obligation, conditional obligation, and priorities of normative principles.
The author contends that moral utterances and imperatives have different logical features. He discusses r m hare's "language of morals" in terms of his distinction between plain imperatives and deontic utterances. (staff).