Non-Normal Worlds and Representation

In Michal Peliš & Vít Punčochář (eds.), The Logica Yearbook. College Publications (2012)
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World semantics for relevant logics include so-called non-normal or impossible worlds providing model-theoretic counterexamples to such irrelevant entailments as (A ∧ ¬A) → B, A → (B∨¬B), or A → (B → B). Some well-known views interpret non-normal worlds as information states. If so, they can plausibly model our ability of conceiving or representing logical impossibilities. The phenomenon is explored by combining a formal setting with philosophical discussion. I take Priest’s basic relevant logic N4 and extend it, on the syntactic side, with a representation operator, (R), and on the semantic side, with particularly anarchic non-normal worlds. This combination easily invalidates unwelcome “logical omniscience” in- ferences of standard epistemic logic, such as belief-consistency and closure under entailment. Some open questions are then raised on the best strategies to regiment (R) in order to express more vertebrate kinds of conceivability.

Author's Profile

Franz Berto
University of St. Andrews


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