Deontic Logic and Ethics

In Gabbay, John Horty, Xavier Parent, Ron van der Meyden & Leon van der Torre (eds.), Handbook of Deontic Logic and Normative System, Volume 2. College Publications (forthcoming)
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Abstract
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 deontic logic (§1) and a brief consideration of other miscellaneous topics (§5)
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