(Master thesis) Of madness and many-valuedness: an investigation into Suszko's thesis

Dissertation, UFRN (2015)
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Suszko’s Thesis is a philosophical claim regarding the nature of many-valuedness. It was formulated by the Polish logician Roman Suszko during the middle 70s and states the existence of “only but two truth values”. The thesis is a reaction against the notion of many-valuedness conceived by Jan Łukasiewicz. Reputed as one of the modern founders of many-valued logics, Łukasiewicz considered a third undeter- mined value in addition to the traditional Fregean values of Truth and Falsehood. For Łukasiewicz, his third value could be seen as a step beyond the Aristotelian dichotomy of Being and non-Being. According to Suszko, Łukasiewicz’s ideas rested on a confusion between algebraic values (what sentences describe/denote) and log- ical values (truth and falsity). Thus, Łukasiewicz’s third undetermined value is no more than an algebraic value, a possible denotation for a sentence, but not a genuine logical value. Suszko’s Thesis is endorsed by a formal result baptized as Suszko’s Reduction, a theorem that states every Tarskian logic may be characterized by a two-valued semantics. The present study is intended as a thorough investigation of Suszko’s thesis and its implications. The first part is devoted to the historical roots of many-valuedness and introduce Suszko’s main motivations in formulating the double character of truth-values by drawing the distinction in between algebraic and logical values. The second part explores Suszko’s Reduction and presents the developments achieved from it; the properties of two-valued semantics in comparison to many-valued semantics are also explored and discussed. Last but not least, the third part investigates the notion of logical values in the context of non-Tarskian notions of entailment; the meaning of Suszko’s thesis within such frameworks is also discussed. Moreover, the philosophical foundations for non-Tarskian notions of entailment are explored in the light of recent debates concerning logical pluralism.
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