This chapter introduces the main topic of the book and its key themes. The main topic of the book is deontic modality, which is a species of necessity and possibility concerned with rules of some sort. Here deontic modality is construed broadly to include not only what is necessary and possible in light of rules of morality and law but also the sorts of necessities and possibilities that attach to all kinds of practical reasoning. This chapter also explains the linguistic methodology of many of the subsequent chapters, which proceed via an investigation into the meaning of specific words with deontic modal meanings. However, it also explains the relation of this issue to broader issues in philosophy about deontic modal concepts and the logic of deontic reasoning.
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