Truth and Proof without Models: A Development and Justification of the Truth-valuational Approach


I explain why model theory is unsatisfactory as a semantic theory and has drawbacks as a tool for proofs on logic systems. I then motivate and develop an alternative, truth-valuational substitutional approach (TVS), and prove with it the soundness and completeness of the first order Predicate Calculus with identity and of Modal Propositional Calculus. Modal logic is developed without recourse to possible worlds. Along the way I answer a variety of difficulties that have been raised against TVS and show that, as applied to several central questions, model-theoretic semantics can be considered TVS in disguise. The conclusion is that the truth-valuational substitutional approach is an adequate tool for many of our logic inquiries, conceptually preferable over model-theoretic semantics. Another conclusion is that formal logic is independent of semantics, apart from its use of the notion of truth, but that even with respect to it its assumptions are minimal.

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Hanoch Ben-Yami
Central European University


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