Is it Forbidden to Kill Someone? Relevance Theory’s Contribution to Deontic Logic

Réka Markovich


In this paper I would like to show how the Relevance Theory in general and the analysis of imperative mood in it can help us in one of the fundamental tasks of deontic logic. If we would like to use deontic logic for norm semantics, we—or the software we use—just need to find the deontic words before the regulated actions to use the proper operator in the deontic logical formula. But sometimes we cannot find such words in legal texts, thus we have to retrieve information on deontic status from the textual context: Relevance Theory can be of assistance in this process.

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