Universiteit van Amsterdam

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Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

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19 November 2013, Logic Tea, Alessandra Marra

Speaker: Alessandra Marra
Title: A dynamic perspective on obligations; The case of the Miners' Paradox
Date: Tuesday 19 November 2013
Time: 17:00-18:00
Location: Room F1.15, Science Park 107, Amsterdam

Abstract

In this talk I investigate deontic modality, and the relation between moral reasoning and agents' factual knowledge. The investigation is carried out through the lens of one of the most studied paradoxes in deontic logic and meta-ethics: the “Miners' Paradox”. The reasons the paradox is so prominent are that it not only incorporates other familiar paradoxes generated by Standard Deontic Logic (e.g. paradoxes involving conditional obligations, disjunction of obligations and conflict of obligations), but it also constitutes an emblematic example of moral reasoning in case of incomplete factual information.

After having critically discussed the main strategies that have been proposed to solve the Miners' Paradox (e.g. Kolodny&MacFarlane 2010, Willer 2012), I present a novel solution. I develop a non truth-conditional, update semantics for deontic modals, in which the acceptance of obligation sentences triggers a modification of the conversational context. I argue that that semantics not only solves the paradox, but it also describes important aspects of the use of obligation sentences in everyday discourse practice, and the interaction between factual knowledge and acceptance of moral obligations.

For more information, please visit the website http://www.illc.uva.nl/logic_tea/. or contact Guus Eelink (), Johannes Marti () or Masa Mocnik ().

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.