By Melvin Joseph Adler

ISBN-10: 902722501X

ISBN-13: 9789027225016

The aim of this essay is to either talk about instructions as a species of speech act and to debate instructions in the broader framework of ways they're used and reacted to.

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Extra info for A Pragmatic Logic for Commands

Sample text

Furthermore, should the au­ thority be included as part of the formal representation of commands ? Let us begin by examining Rescher's (1966:14-15) answer to the first of these questions. , Sergeant to Platoon leader 'Order your men to march double time ! ' ) . No one wants to claim that, in the first example, an intermediary is given the status of an authority - after all, his only act is to transmit the command. What differentiates a genuine chain-ofcommand situation from a stream-of-messengers situation is that in the former the intermediaries are responsible not only for the addressee to receive the command but also for him to carry it out.

Con­ tains more than one element). Assuming time to be linear, continuous, and open-ended, let T, T 1 , T 2 , ... be (unions of) intervals of time. In addition, the symbol 'now' will also be used to denote an interval of time: its specialized use SYNTAX AND SEMANTICS 47 will be explained after commands have been defined. Turning to execution-preconditions, we must engage in a little analysis before the actual formalization. Intuitively speaking, if the period of time the command is in force is T, what we want to check if the execution-precondition holds, if it becomes the case in the real world at any point during the time interval T.

In both cases the logical structure, in terms of sentence logic, and dis­ regarding the imperative element qua imperative, is: If X then Y. This suggests that, as a first approximation, hypothetical imperatives can be analyzed as commands with execution-preconditions, the antecedent playing the role of the command's precondition and the conclusion that of the command's required action. But this does not explain why hypo­ thetical imperatives seem to be different from other commands with ex51 ecution-preconditions.

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