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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)


The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

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Publication details for Dr Sara L. Uckelman

Uckelman, Sara L. (2014), Reasoning about Obligations in Obligationes: A Formal Approach, in Goré, Rajeev, Kooi, Barteld & Kurucz, Agi eds, The tenth Advances in Modal Logic conference (AiML-2014). Groningen, Netherlands, College Publications, 553-568.

Author(s) from Durham


Despite the appearance of `obligation' in their name, medieval obligational dispu-
tations between an Opponent and a Respondent seem to many to be unrelated to
deontic logic. However, given that some of the example disputations found in me-
dieval texts involve Respondent reasoning about his obligations within the context
of the disputation, it is clear that some sort of deontic reasoning is involved. In this
paper, we explain how the reasoning di ers from that in ordinary basic deontic logic,
and de ne dynamic epistemic semantics within which the medieval obligations can
be expressed and the examples evaluated. Obligations in this framework are history-
based and closely connected to action, thus allowing for comparisons with, e.g., the
knowledge-based obligations of Pacuit, Parikh, and Cogan, and stit-theory. The con-
tributions of this paper are twofold: The introduction of a new type of obligation into
the deontic logic family, and an explanation of the precise deontic concepts involved
in obligationes.


Conference date: 5 to 8 August 2014