Studia Logica

, Volume 103, Issue 2, pp 389–412 | Cite as

Jerzy Kalinowski’s Logic of Normative Sentences Revisited

  • Robert Trypuz
  • Piotr Kulicki


The paper tackles two problems. The first one is to grasp the real meaning of Jerzy Kalinowski’s theory of normative sentences. His formal system K 1 is a simple logic formulated in a very limited language (negation is the only operator defined on actions). While presenting it Kalinowski formulated a few interesting philosophical remarks on norms and actions. He did not, however, possess the tools to formalise them fully. We propose a formulation of Kalinowski’s ideas with the use of a set-theoretical frame similar to the one presented by Krister Segerberg in his A Deontic Logic of Action. At the same time we enrich the language used by Kalinowski with more operators on actions (parallel execution and free choice) and present an adequate axiomatisation of the resulting system. That allows us to disclose some unrevealed aspects of Kalinowski’s theory. The most important one is a relation between acts which we call moral indiscernibility. Our second problem is a proper understanding of moral indiscernibility. We show how a repertoire of agent’s actions, defined with the use of simple observable elements of actions, can be filtrated by the relation of moral indiscernibility. That allows us to understand the consequences of Kalinowski’s claim that not doing something good is always bad.


Deontic action logic Moral indiscernibility of actions Jerzy Kalinowski Krister Segerberg 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Broersen J. M.: Action negation and alternative reductions for dynamic deontic logics.. Journal of Applied Logic 2(1), 153–168 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Castro P. F., MaibaumT. S. E.: Deontic action logic, atomic boolean algebra and fault-tolerance. Journal of Applied Logic 7(4), 441–466 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dong, H., and X. Li, A deontic action logic for complex actions, in D. Grossi, O. Roy, and H. Huang, (eds.), Logic, Rationality, and Interaction, vol. 8196 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, 2013, pp. 311–315.Google Scholar
  4. Gabbay D., Gammaitoni L., Sun X.: The paradoxes of permission an action based solution. Journal of Applied Logic 12(2), 179–191 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Jørgensen, J., Imperatives and Logic. Erkenntnis 7:288–296, 1937/1938.Google Scholar
  6. Kalinowski, J., Theorie des propositions normatives. Studia Logica 1:147–182, 1953.Google Scholar
  7. Kalinowski, J., La logique des normes. Initiation philosophique. Presses universitaires de France, 1972.Google Scholar
  8. Kulicki, P., and R. Trypuz, Two faces of obligation, in A. Brozek, J. Jadacki, and B. Zarnic, (eds.), Theory of Imperatives from Different Points of View (2). Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science at Warsaw University 7. Wydawnictwo Naukowe Semper, Warsaw, 2013, pp. 70–82.Google Scholar
  9. McKinsey J. C. C.: Systems of modal logic which are not unreasonable in the sense of hallden. The Journal of Symbolic Logic 18, 109–113 (1953)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Searle, J. R., Rationality in Action. The MIT Press, New York, 2001.Google Scholar
  11. Segerberg, K., A deontic logic of action. Studia Logica 41:269–282, 1982.Google Scholar
  12. Trypuz, R., Formal Ontology of Action: a unifying approach. PhD Thesis, Università degli Studi di Trento, ICT International Doctorate School, 2007.Google Scholar
  13. Trypuz, R., (ed.), Krister Segerberg on Logic of Actions, vol. 1 of Outstanding Contributions to Logic. Springer, Berlin, 2014.Google Scholar
  14. Trypuz R., Kulicki P.: A systematics of deontic action logics based on boolean algebra. Logic and Logical Philosophy 18(3–4), 253–270 (2009)Google Scholar
  15. Trypuz, R., and P. Kulicki, On deontic action logics based on Boolean algebra. Journal of Logic and Computation forthcoming.Google Scholar
  16. von Wright, G. H., Norm and Action: A Logical Inquiry. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1963.Google Scholar
  17. von Wright, G. H., Problems and Prospects of deontic logic: A survey. In E. Agazzi, (ed.), Modern Logic—A Survey: Historical Philosophical and Mathematical Aspects of Modern Logic and its Applications. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, 1980.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyThe John Paul II Catholic University of LublinLublinPoland

Personalised recommendations