Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 37-50

First online:

Prescribed mental attitudes in goal-adoption and norm-adoption

  • Cristiano CastelfranchiAffiliated withNational Research Council, Institute of Psychology

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The general aim of this work is to show the importance of the adressee's mind as planned by the author of a speech act or of a norm; in particular, how important are the expected motivations for goal adoption. We show that speech acts differ from one another for the different motivations the speaker is attempting to obtain from the hearer. The description of the participants' social positions is not sufficient. Important conflicts can arise which are not relative to what to do, but to the different motives requested by the speaker. This view is applied to norms, pointing out that what is required by a norm is not only a behaviour but also a mental attitude, and that the prescribed mind might be even more important than the prescribed behaviour. Norms don't want just behavioural conformity, but also that this conformity implies an acknowledgement and a reinforcement of both the authority and the norm itself. Norms ask for submission. Any form of norm is aimed at influencing the addressee by changing his or her mind.