A Calculus of Pragmatic Obligation

Judea Pearl

We present a qualitative, decision-theoretic account for statements of the form: "You ought to do A, if C". We show that adding a qualitative causal theory (in the form of a graph) as part of an epistemic state is sufficient to facilitate the analysis of action sequences, their consequences, their interaction with observations, their expected utilities and, hence, the assertability of conditional "ought" statements.

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