Chisholm's paradox and conditional oughts

Catharine Saint Croix, Richmond H. Thomason

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


Since it was presented in 1963, Chisholm's paradox has attracted constant attention in the deontic logic literature, but without the emergence of any definitive solution. We claim this is due to its having no single solution. The paradox actually presents many challenges to the formalization of deontic statements, including (1) context sensitivity of unconditional oughts, (2) formalizing conditional oughts, and (3) distinguishing generic from nongeneric oughts. Using the practical interpretation of 'ought' as a guideline, we propose a linguistically motivated logical solution to each of these problems, and explain the relation of the solution to the problem of contrary-to-duty obligations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDeontic Logic and Normative Systems - 12th International Conference, DEON 2014, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783319086149
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event12th International Conference on Deontic Logic and Normative Systems, DEON 2014 - Ghent, Belgium
Duration: Jul 12 2014Jul 15 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume8554 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference12th International Conference on Deontic Logic and Normative Systems, DEON 2014


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