A formal characterisation of Hamblin's action-state semantics

Chris Reed, Timothy J. Norman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Hamblin’s Action-State Semantics provides a sound philosophical foundation for understanding the character of the imperative. Taking this as our inspiration, in this paper we present a logic of action, which we call ST, that captures the clear ontological distinction between being responsible for the achievement of a state of affairs and being responsible for the performance of an action. We argue that a relativised modal logic of type RT founded upon a ternary relation over possible worlds integrated with a basic tense logic captures intuitions of the Hamblinian model of imperatives. The logic implements a direct mapping of each of Hamblin’s key concepts: strategies, partial strategies and wholehearted satisfaction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)415-448
    Number of pages34
    JournalJournal of Philosophical Logic
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Imperatives
    • Action logics
    • Delegation
    • Hamblin


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