Acts of Requesting in Dynamic Logic of Knowledge and Obligation

European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7 (2):59-82 (2011)
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Although it seems intuitively clear that acts of requesting are different from acts of commanding, it is not very easy to sate their differences precisely in dynamic terms. In this paper we show that it becomes possible to characterize, at least partially, the effects of acts of requesting and compare them with the effects of acts of commanding by combining dynamified deontic logic with epistemic logic. One interesting result is the following: each act of requesting is appropriately differentiated from an act of commanding with the same content, but for each act of requesting, there is another act of commanding with much more complex content which updates models in exactly the same way as it does. We will also consider an application of our characterization of acts of requesting to acts of asking yes-no questions. It yields a straightforward formalization of the view of acts of asking questions as requests for information.

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Tomoyuki Yamada
Hokkaido University


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