Journal of Philosophical Logic

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 391–416 | Cite as

Permission from an Input/Output Perspective

  • David Makinson
  • Leendert van der Torre


Input/output logics are abstract structures designed to represent conditional obligations and goals. In this paper we use them to study conditional permission. This perspective provides a clear separation of the familiar notion of negative permission from the more elusive one of positive permission. Moreover, it reveals that there are at least two kinds of positive permission. Although indistinguishable in the unconditional case, they are quite different in conditional contexts. One of them, which we call static positive permission, guides the citizen and law enforcement authorities in the assessment of specific actions under current norms, and it behaves like a weakened obligation. Another, which we call dynamic positive permission, guides the legislator. It describes the limits on the prohibitions that may be introduced into a code, and under suitable conditions behaves like a strengthened negative permission.

conditional norms deontic logic input/output logics permission 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Makinson
    • 1
  • Leendert van der Torre
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceKing's College LondonLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.CWIAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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