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Preference-Based Deontic Logic (PDL)

Sven Ove Hansson
Journal of Philosophical Logic
Vol. 19, No. 1 (Feb., 1990), pp. 75-93
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30227057
Page Count: 19
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Preference-Based Deontic Logic (PDL)
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Abstract

A new possible world semantics for deontic logic is proposed. Its intuitive basis is that prohibitive predicates (such as "wrong" and "prohibited") have the property of negativity, i.e. that what is worse than something wrong is itself wrong. The logic of prohibitive predicates is built on this property and on preference logic. Prescriptive predicates are defined in terms of prohibitive predicates, according to the wellknown formula "ought" = "wrong that not". In this preference-based deontic logic (PDL), those theorems that give rise to the paradoxes of standard deontic logic (SDL) are not obtained. (E.g., O(p & q) → Op & Oq and Op → O(p v q)) are theorems of SDL but not of PDL.) The more plausible theorems of SDL, however, can be derived in PDL.

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