, Volume 14, Issue 1-2, pp 1-34
Date: 19 Jul 2006

Deontic logics for prioritized imperatives

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When a conflict of duties arises, a resolution is often sought by use of an ordering of priority or importance. This paper examines how such a conflict resolution works, compares mechanisms that have been proposed in the literature, and gives preference to one developed by Brewka and Nebel. I distinguish between two cases – that some conflicts may remain unresolved, and that a priority ordering can be determined that resolves all – and provide semantics and axiomatic systems for accordingly defined dyadic deontic operators.

A preliminary version was presented to the working group “Law and logic’ of the XXII. World Congress of Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR 2005), 24–29 May 2005, Granada, Spain.