An indefinability argument for conditional obligation

Heikki-Pekka Innala

Abstract


The search for logical form derives its fascination from its tendency to produce surprises every now and then. A concept that seems to be unproblematic turns out to be something else altogether when we look into its semantics. Conditionals are an especially tricky subject matter in this respect. In this paper we shall argue that the conditional moral obligation of deontic logic is a very peculiar sort of conditional indeed, for it cannot be expressed in terms of a conditional and a deontic element. Our formal indefinability argument shows it to be a primitive concept, contrary to common belief

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