, Volume 188, Issue 3, pp 449-454

Prior’s defence of Hintikka’s theorem. A discussion of Prior’s ‘The logic of obligation and the obligations of the logician’

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Abstract

In his paper, The logic of obligation and the obligations of the logician, A.N. Prior considers Hintikka’s theorem, according to which a statement cannot be both impossible and permissible. This theorem has been seen as problematic for the very idea of a logic of obligation. However, Prior rejects the view that the logic of obligation cannot be formalised. He sees this resistance against such a view as an important part of what could be called the obligation of the logician. Prior argues that Hintikka’s theorem should not be seen as something paradoxical. On the contrary, it should be seen as a fully acceptable consequence of a basic and reasonable assumption in deontic logic, namely Hintikka’s rule.