By Melvin Joseph Adler
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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Additional info for A Pragmatic Logic for Commands
Are actions. 3. Refraining from doing something, and in particular, doing nothing may be considered to be an action. 4. Some, but not all, actions have a well defined negation. 5. The phrase 'contradictory actions' makes sense. 6. Phrases such as 'the temporal realization of an action', 'to real ize an action', and '(the addressee) X realizes (the action) A' 32 A PRAGMATIC LOGIC FOR COMMANDS make sense. 7. The notions involved in defining (and the algebraic operations of) sub-action, meet and join of actions (symbolized ≤ , , and v , respectively) are all understood and well defined.
Within the framework of the institution of commands, we will take time as it is usually conceived: linear, continuous, and (in ef fect) infinitely open-ended. A command can then be thought of as being in force, from the point of view of any individual addressee, during an interval (or intervals) of time. Due to his finite lifespan, as far as he is concerned, no command is forever - it will only be in force during a bounded interval of time. Now, it is impractical to speak of obeying a command without know ing when to obey it.
If it rains and if you are at Bill's place then don't come home until it stops ! If you want a cheap pair of shoes go to the shuck ! If you want to drink milk take it from the litre bag on the kitchen table ! If you want to be at home by nine o'clock take a taxi ! 1, and (27) - (29) are examples of hypothet ical imperatives as discussed up to this point in this section. In both cases the logical structure, in terms of sentence logic, and dis regarding the imperative element qua imperative, is: If X then Y.