Relating Imperatives to Action

  • Paul Piwek
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2155)


The aim of this chapter is to provide an analysis of the use of logically complex imperatives, in particular, imperatives of the form Do A 1 or A 2 and Do A, if B. We argue for an analysis of imperatives in terms of classical logic which takes into account the influence of background information on imperatives. We show that by doing so one can avoid some counter-intuitive results which have been associated with analyses of imperatives in terms of classical logic. In particular, I address Hamblin’s observations concerning rule-like imperatives and Ross’ Paradox. The analysis is carried out within an agent-based logical framework. This analysis explicates what it means for an agent to have a successful policy for action with respect to satisfying his or her commitments, where some of these commitments have been introduced as a result of imperative language use.


Basic Action Classical Logic Generalize Plan Propositional Content Composite Action 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Piwek
    • 1
  1. 1.ITRI, University of BrightonBrightonUK

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