, Volume 165, Issue 2, pp 295–315 | Cite as

Logical dynamics of some speech acts that affect obligations and preferences

  • Tomoyuki Yamada


In this paper, illocutionary acts of commanding will be differentiated from perlocutionary acts that affect preferences of addressees in a new dynamic logic which combines the preference upgrade introduced in DEUL (dynamic epistemic upgrade logic) by van Benthem and Liu with the deontic update introduced in ECL II (eliminative command logic II) by Yamada. The resulting logic will incorporate J. L. Austin’s distinction between illocutionary acts as acts having mere conventional effects and perlocutionary acts as acts having real effects upon attitudes and actions of agents, and help us understand why saying so can make it so in explicit performative utterances. We will also discuss how acts of commanding give rise to so-called “deontic dilemmas” and how we can accommodate most deontic dilemmas without triggering so-called “deontic explosion”.


Command Illocutionary act Perlocutionary act Conventional effect Obligation Preference Deontic dilemma Deontic explosion Dynamic modal logic 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of LettersHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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