Deontic Action Logic (SONATA 2011-2014)

The project funded by the National Science Center of Poland


Project description

In recent years, deontic logic gains interest, particularly in the context of information systems. Among many types of deontic logic significant position occupies deontic action logics. Areas of application of the logics in question include: security of computer systems, systems of fault tolerance, contracts between artificial agent, application of artificial intelligence to legal issues. Those applications gave rise to a significant number of systems of deontic action logic.

It should be noted, however, that the systems of deontic action logic have not received so far a wider formal analysis or a systematic study of adequacy with respect to a formal representation of legal and ethical norms or computer applications in which the norms are present. Widely  known introductory texts on deontic logic either do not inform about deontic action logic at all or just mention its existence. We believe that their theoretical and practical value is significant enough to deserve a specialized study. Our project fills existing gap.
Thus the project aims at a critical analysis of existing systems of deontic action logic, their comparison, study of their cognitive and practical values.

Systems of deontic action logic that are created nowadays are usually a result of work on  specific problems occurring in information systems. However, the results are often treated by their authors as universal and the conditions of their applicability are not specified. Moreover, similar results obtained earlier are sometimes ignored. Thus, there is a need for analysis which could be regarded as foundational research on the subject. The proposed project aims at such a result.
It is worth noting that in different contexts deontic notions have a specific meaning and for an adequate characterization of them different systems have to be constructed and their presuppositions have to be stated. In our opinion the proper foundation of such systems has to be an ontological theory of action. Only on such a  basis systems of logic of norms can be analyzed and elaborated. Such an approach can be used for integration of the existing results from philosophical logic with the results originating from computer science and to specify the conditions under which various systems can be applied.
A systematisation of existing deontic action logics and basing them on the ontological theory of action make it possible to apply such logics more widely in information systems in which norms occur and also in reasoning about norms in law and ethics. Among researchers working in the above mentioned fields deontic logic, because of paradoxes occurring in the so called classical deontic logic is not appreciated. A critical presentation of systems of deontic action logic and conditions of their application may change that situation.

The project aims also at creation of a formal theory of norms and action on the basis of existing systems of deontic action logic and action theories. The theory is to be adequate with respect to chosen legal and ethical norms and safety regulations in information systems, which will be extensively studied in the project, and should be a useful tool for reasoning.

Project publications

(and some more published before starting the project)

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Project related:

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