The Challenge of the K-Principle in Deontic Logic (and Well Beyond)

Wojciech Żełaniec

Abstract


I go through various arguments why the K-principle (aka Distributivity Axiom), O(p→q)→(Op→Oq), a cornerstone of all deontic logic as the latter is standardly conceived, is of little use for the logical analysis of real-life deontic discourse. It is empirically false, I argue. Then I proceed to the question why it is so attractive, and I submit the hypothesis that to blame is Kripke semantics, making use of the imagery of possible worlds, accepted as a de facto standard in deontic logic. This semantics, however, is not attuned to the needs of controlling real-life deontic discourse, as the latter is mostly about things entirely this-worldly. For this-worldly relations possibly founding the deontic modalities the K-principle stands poor chance of working, I argue.


Keywords


K-principle; deontic logic; possible worlds; deontic discourse; this-worldly relations

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/Phe_Mi-22436


  Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY- 4.0)

 
Firenze University Press
Via Cittadella, 7 - 50144 Firenze
Tel. (0039) 055 2757700 Fax (0039) 055 2757712
E-mail: info@fupress.com