The paper points to problems that stem from the fact that theories subsumed under the heading “deontic logic” often have unclearly defined goals and their creators tend to conflate perspectives that are discordant. It suggests that many problems that have troubled deontic logic for many years can be better grasped (and in some cases in effect solved) if we properly parcel out the area of logical studies subsumed under the heading “deontic logic”. Prescriptive language games proposed by David Lewis together with his conception of scorekeeping in the games are proposed as a suitable starting point for the parceling. Using the perspective of the games we can distinguish different theories to be developed within deontic logic. They differ in their focus on different kinds of moves in the language game and in their conceiving the language game either as static or as dynamic.
Deontic logic, language games, logic of imperatives, philosophical logic