Deontic logic as a study of conditions of rationality in norm-related activities

In Olivier Roy, Allard Tamminga & Malte Willer (eds.), Deontic Logic and Normative Systems. London, UK: College Publications. pp. 272-287 (2016)
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Abstract

The program put forward in von Wright's last works defines deontic logic 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 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 deontic logic 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 deontic logic.

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Berislav Žarnić
University Zagreb

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