Agency and Deontic Logic
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Agency and Deontic Logic

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This original new work develops deontic logic against the background of a theory of agency in indeterministic time. The goal is to present a formal account of what individuals and groups of agents ought to do under various conditions and over extended periods of time., John Horty effectively develops deontic logic (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., 1. OVERVIEW ; 2. INDETERMINISM AND AGENCY ; 2.1 Branching time ; 2.1.1 Frames and Models ; 2.1.2 2.1.2 Propositions ; 2.2 Individual agency ; 2.2.1 Agents and choices ; 2.2.2 Stit operators ; 2.2.3 Some logical considerations ; 2.3 Individual ability ; 2.3.1 Kenny's objections ; 2.3.2 Brown's theory ; 2.3.3 Refraining and ability ; 2.4 Group agency and ability ; 2.4.1 Group actions ; 2.4.2 A group agency operator ; 3. OUGHT TO BE ; 3.1 The standard theory ; 3.2 A utilitarian theory ; 3.2.1 General models ; 3.2.2 Utilitarian models ; 3.2.3 Logic of the utilitarian ought ; 3.3 The Meinong/Chisholm analysis ; 3.3.1 The analysis ; 3.3.2 Some logical features ; 3.4 Evaluating the analysis ; 3.4.1 Agency in the complement ; 3.4.2 The gambling problem ; 4. OUGHT TO DO ; 4.1 Dominance ; 4.1.1 Ordering the propositions ; 4.1.2 A sure-thing argument ; 4.1.3 Ordering the actions ; 4.2 Dominance act utilitarianism ; 4.2.1 Optimal actions ; 4.2.2 The finite choice condition ; 4.3 A new deontic operator ; 4.3.1 The definition ; 4.3.2 Deontic logic and act utilitarianism ; 4.3.3 Logic of the dominance ought ; 4.4 Independence ; 4.4.1 Independence and conditionals ; 4.4.2 Conditionals and sure-thing reasoning ; 4.4.3 Refining the analysis ; 5. CONDITIONAL OUGHTS ; 5.1 Conditionally optimal actions ; 5.2 A conditional operator ; 5.2.1 The definition ; 5.2.2 Some logical considerations ; 5.3 Two patterns of argument ; 5.3.1 The action argument ; 5.3.2 The ought argument ; 5.4 Orthodox act utilitarianism ; 5.4.1 An example ; 5.4.2 The definition ; 5.4.3 An orthodox deontic operator ; 6. GROUP OUGHTS ; 6.1 Optimal group actions ; 6.2 Individual and group act utilitarianism ; 6.3 Deontic operators for group oughts ; 6.3.1 Definitions ; 6.3.2 Some logical points ; 6.4 Rule utilitarianism ; 6.4.1 Formulating the theory ; 6.4.2 Act and rule utilitarianism ; 7. STRATEGIC OUGHTS ; 7.1 Strategies ; 7.1.1 Basic idea ; 7.1.2 Limiting the range ; 7.2 Strategies and choices ; 7.2.1 Agency ; 7.2.2 Ability ; 7.3 Strategic dominance and optimality ; 7.3.1 Dominance ; 7.3.2 Optimality ; 7.4 A strategic ought operator ; 7.4.1 The definition ; 7.4.2 Logical points ; 7.4.3 Actualism and possibilism ; A. Proofs of validities and propositions ; A.1 Validities ; A.2 Propositions ; Bibliography ; Index, "Agency and Deontic Logic represents a major advance in the field, developing fresh ideas for thinking about longstanding internal problems and making significant connections with external areas of research, most notably decision theory and utilitarian ethical theory. Although the book is technically sophisticated, the discussion is exceptionally clear and readable and benefits greatly from numerous examples and diagrams. Agency and Deontic Logic should interest an audience that includes logicians, computer scientists, and those working in decision theory, game theory, and ethics, as well as applications of these disciplines. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews This fine book is resource-rich and thought-provoking. I recommend it to all analytic philosophers interested in exploring the implications of a robust indeterminism for consequentialism. It is must reading for those who work on formal approaches to normative reasoning. Mind This is an excellent book. It makes an original and important contribution to deontic logic. Anyone interested in formalizing a utilitarian notion of personal and collective obligation ought to consider this book. Journal of Logic, Language, and Information Agency and Deontic Logic develops deontic logic against the background of a theory of agency in non-deterministic time. Horty tells a self-contained story without losing momentum by diving into the conceptual and technical details that are met along the way. His formulations are precise and clear, and he takes the time to put forward a wealth of concepts and ideas. We strongly recommend anyone interested in the philosophical and logical aspects of reasoning about oughts, agency, and action to get hold of a copy of this book. Artificial Intelligence and Law, John Horty is a Professor in the Philosophy Department and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland. He is the author of Frege on Definitions (Oxford, 2007) as well as papers on a variety of topics in logic, philosophy, and computer science.

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