New paper on the logic behind instrumental judgments

Kees van Berkel, Tim Lyon and Matteo Pascucci have a new paper out on Logical Analysis of Instrumentality Judgments: Means-End Relations in the Context of Experience and Expectations, Journal of Philosophical Logic (2023).

This article proposes the use of temporal logic for an analysis of instrumentality inspired by the work of G.H. von Wright. The first part of the article contains the philosophical foundations. We discuss von Wright’s general theory of agency and his account of instrumentality. Moreover, we propose several refinements to this framework via rigorous definitions of the core notions involved. In the second part, we develop a logical system called Temporal Logic of Action and Expectations (TLAE). The logic is inspired by a fragment of propositional dynamic logic based on indeterministic time. The system is proven to be weakly complete relative to its given semantics. We then employ TLAE to formalise and analyse the instrumentality relations defined in the first part of the paper. Last, we point out philosophical implications and possible extensions of our work.