13 (3) online
an international journal of
epistemology
© NEL 
Epistemology Quantifiers and the Foundations of QuasiSet Theory
and Logic Jonas R. Becker Arenhart & Décio Krause
Research Group.
Federal Models of Reduction
University of
Santa Catarina, Otávio Bueno
Brazil.
All rights Meeting Hintikka's Challenge to Paraconsistentism
reserved. Walter Carnielli
quadrimestral
ISSN 14144247
Special Issue
in honor of
NEWTON C. A. DA COSTA
(Part II)
ISSN 14144247
Editor Responsável/Editor:
Luiz Henrique de Araújo Dutra
Editor Assistente/Associate Editor:
Cezar Augusto Mortari
MODELS OF REDUCTION
OTÁVIO BUENO 269
ISSN 14144247
nel@cfh.ufsc.br www.cfh.ufsc.br/∼nel
(48) 37218612 fax: (48) 37219751
Abstract. In this paper we discuss some questions proposed by Prof. Newton da Costa on
the foundations of quasiset theory. His main doubts concern the possibility of a reasonable
semantical understanding of the theory, mainly due to the fact that identity and difference
do not apply to some entities of the theory’s intended domain of discourse. According to
him, the quantifiers employed in the theory, when understood in the usual way, rely on the
assumption that identity applies to all entities in the domain of discourse. Inspired by his
provocation, we suggest that, using some ideas presented by da Costa himself in his seminars
at UFSC (the Federal University of Santa Catarina) and by one of us (DK) in some papers,
these difficulties can be overcome both on a formal level and on an informal level, showing
how quantification over items for which identity does not make sense can be understood
without presupposing a semantics based on a ‘classical’ set theory.
1. Introduction
One of the challenges that appear in the development of nonclassical logics is re
lated to the semantics of such systems. Generally speaking, it is recognized that
a semantics conduced according to the standard methods employ as metalanguage
some one of the ‘classical’ set theories, such as ZF (the ZermeloFraenkel set theory,
generally encompassing the axiom of choice). Such a semantics comprises some im
mediate difficulties on the foundational side so that, from a philosophical point of
view, it would seems to be not completely absent of a priori commitments (given by
such metaframework). Saying in brief, since standard ZF is itself based on classi
cal logic, it seems to be already committed to the very principles of this logic, the
same ones whose avoidance was the main driving force behind the proposal of a
nonclassical system.1 Thus, instead of liberating us from the classical principles,
a semantics to a nonclassical system, if grounded in ZF (and the standard mathe
matical frameworks in general), commits us again to classical logic, viz., that one
is not a case of circularity, as it becomes clear when we make the simple distinction
between the metatheory in which we work and the object theory we are interested
in. In this case, both are taken to be ZF. This case is an example of the ‘demand
of coherence’ imposed generally on nonclassical logics, as stated above, that the
metalanguage should not commit us with principles deviant from those granted by
the very logic under study. So, ZF is used to state and clarify the meaning of logical
constants for the system of logic which is its own underlying logic, as we shall see
below. One possible way to go out of such an assumption, if there is one, seems to
suppose that the syntax of the formal system alone is able to clarify the meaning of
the terms of the language through the axioms and rules of inference (in a strict for
mal way, as suggested for instance by Haskell B. Curry (Curry 1951). But then, one
must face the problem that the same set of axioms can be used to ground systems of
logic that could be different when semantic considerations entered the discussion,
that is, some systems of logic may differ only in the semantics presented, having the
same formal apparatus when viewed from syntactic point of view alone. We will not
follow this ‘syntax only’ strategy here. On the contrary, we shall be concerned with
semantical issues, for they are of course in the core of the discussions regarding the
ontological commitments of theories.
Thus, our strategy will be the same one used in classical logic. The underlying
logic of Q will have its semantic based in quasiset theory itself, giving the adequate
meaning to its logical constants. We first recover very briefly how this is done for
classical first order logic, roughly speaking, by mapping the language in set theory
and then with this theory (ZF) as the background language, it is possible to design
a formal semantics for the language of first order logic. Obviously, our claim is that
the choice of the metalanguage always carries some commitments that drive the
semantics we are considering. This shows that we can in fact study the axiomatics
of firstorder ZF within ZF proper, although we cannot prove that there is a model
of this theory within ZF (due to the second Gödel’s incompleteness theorem). In our
specific case, we show how to do such a thing for the language of the underlying
logic of the object theory Q, this time translating it to our metatheory Q, where
the adequate semantic meaning of the logical symbols can be done yet, we insist,
we cannot prove that there is a model of Q within Q (supposed consistent). Any
charge of circularity here would be rightly directed to the classical case, for the
procedure is really a generalization of that case, and we take as an easy matter to
avoid the problem of an adequate distinction between the object language and the
metalanguage.
order classical logic can be developed inside ZF, so that both its semantics and syn
tax are made using a classical metalanguage (namely, that of ZF proper). Besides
an enumerable quantity of variables x 1 , x 2 , . . . , x n . . ., we take as logical symbols
the connectives ¬ and →, the universal quantifier ∀, and the equality sign =. For
simplicity we restrict ourselves to a language L with predicate symbols P 1, P 2, . . . as
nonlogical constants only, where P n denotes an nary predicate symbol, and differ
ent predicates of the same weight can be distinguished by a subindex, but we won’t
consider them here.
We begin by showing how the symbols of the language can be seen as certain
sets. The variables are identified with the elements of ω, vis., the set of natural
numbers within ZF, following von Neumann’s standard definition. So, we assume,
for example, that the variable x n is identified with the natural number n. The other
logical symbols are defined as follows: ¬ is associated to the ordered pair 〈0, 0〉, →
to the pair 〈0, 1〉, ∀ is identified with 〈0, 2〉, while = with 〈0, 3〉. For the non logical
symbols, we represent each predicate P n with n 6= 0 by the pair 〈1, n〉.
Now, let us consider the case of atomic formulas. In our language, they come in
two versions: in the first case, they are formulas of the form x n = x m , which can be
seen as ordered triples 〈n, =, m〉, with n, m ∈ ω. All the atomic formulas of this type
constitute the set At = which by definition is the set ω × {=}× ω, where ‘×’ denotes
the cartesian product of sets. The second case is constituted by formulas of the form
P n x i0 . . . x in−1 , which are taken to be pairs such as 〈P n , f 〉, where f is a function from
n (which is a set) to ω, so that, for example, if f is such that f (0) = 2 and f (1) = 6,
then 〈P 2 , f 〉 is the formula P 2 x 2 x 6 . The set of all such formulas, At P is by definition
the set {〈P n , f 〉 : n ∈ ω and f : n 7→ ω}.
Thus, the set F of formulas of L is the smallest set satisfying the following con
ditions:
1. At = ∪ At P ∈ F;
2. if α ∈ F, then 〈¬, α〉 ∈ F;
3. if α, β ∈ F, then 〈α, →, β〉 ∈ F;
Now, following the usual methods (Ebbinghaus et al., loc.cit.), one can develop
a formal semantics for this language. Since this is supposed to be well known, we
will not recall the details here. Our point is to emphasize the general technique, for
later we want to enlighten the similarities between this ‘classical’ case and quasiset
theory. What really matters is that, since the theory used to establish this standard
semantics is classical set theory, there are some features of the semantics due to this
assumption that cannot be overlooked from a philosophical and foundational point
of view. The crucial assumption, in this case, at least in what concerns our purposes,
is that identity makes sense to every entity in the domain of quantification.
Technically, expressions like x = y are not always well formed, for they are
not formulas when either x or y denote mobjects. We express that by saying that
the concept of identity does not make sense for all objects (it should be understood
that this is just a way of speech). The objects (the mobjects) to which the defined
concept of identity does not apply are termed nonindividuals for historical reasons
(see French & Krause 2006). As a result (from the axioms of the theory), we can
form collections of mobjects which have no identity–in this sense; these collections
may have a cardinal (termed its ‘quasicardinal’) but not an associated ordinal. Thus,
the concept of ordinal and of cardinal are independent, as in some formulations of
ZF proper. So, informally speaking, a quasiset of mobjects is such that its elements
cannot be identified by names, counted, ordered, although there is a sense in saying
that these collections have a cardinal (which cannot be defined by means of ordinals,
as usual—but see below).
It is important to remark that, when Q is used in connection with quantum
physics, the mobjects are thought of as representing quantum entities (henceforth,
qobjects), but they are not necessarily ‘particles’ in the standard sense—associated
with classical physics or even with orthodox quantum mechanics; waves, field exci
tations (the ‘particles’ in quantum field theory—QFT) or perhaps even strings can be
taken as possible interpretations of the mobjects, although this needs qualification.
Generally speaking, whatever ‘objects’ sharing the property of being indistinguish
able can also be values of the variables of Q (see Falkenburg 2007, chap.6 for a
survey of the various different meanings that the word ‘particle’ has acquired in con
nection with quantum physics).
Another important feature of Q is that standard mathematics can be developed
using its resources, for the theory is conceived in such a way that ZFU (and hence
also ZF, perhaps with the axiom of choice, ZFC) is a subtheory of Q. In other words,
the theory is constructed so that it extends standard ZermeloFraenkel with Urele
mente (ZFU); thus standard sets (of ZFU) can be viewed as particular qsets (that is,
there are qsets that have all the properties of the sets of ZFU, and the objects in Q
corresponding to the Urelemente of ZFU are identified with the M atoms of Q). The
‘sets’ in Q will be called Qsets, or just sets for short. To make the distinction, the
language of Q encompasses a unary predicate Z such that Z(x) says that x is a set.
It is also possible to show that there is a translation from the language of ZFU into
the language of Q so that the translations of the postulates of ZFU are theorems of
Q; thus, there is a ‘copy’ of ZFU in Q, and we refer to it as the ‘classical’ part of Q.
In this copy, all the usual mathematical concepts can be stated, as for instance, the
concept of ordinal (for the Qsets). This ‘classical part’ of Q plays an important role
in the formal developments of the next sections.
Furthermore, it should be recalled that the theory is constructed so that the rela
tion of indiscernibility, when applied to M atoms or Qsets, collapses into standard
identity (of ZFU). The Qsets are qsets whose transitive closure (defined as usual)
does not contain matoms (in other words, they are ‘constructed in the classical part
of the theory—see Fig. 1).
BB
B
BB
B
BB
B On
Q
B B B
B pure qsets B copies of ZFUsets B copies of ZFsets
B B B
B (sets with M atoms) B (‘pure’ sets)
'$
B
B (here, no identity) B B
B x≡y B a B
B B c B
'$ b
B &%
B B B
B (here we can speak B x = y)
of
∗ '$ B
∗ ∗ '$
B B
B B d B
B &% B f B
Indiscernible qsets ∗ ∗ e
∗
B B B
B B &% B
B &% B B
B matoms M atoms
B B B
B B ;
In order to distinguish between Qsets and qsets that may have matoms in their
transitive closure, we write (in the metalanguage) {x : ϕ(x)} for the former and
[x : ϕ(x)] for the latter. In Q, we term ‘pure’ those qsets that have only mobjects
as elements (although these elements may be not always indistinguishable from one
another, that is, the theory is consistent with the assumption of the existence of
different kinds of matoms–that is, not all of them must be indiscernible from one
another), and to them it is assumed that the usual notion of identity cannot be
applied (that is, let us recall, x = y, as well as its negation, x 6= y, are not well
formed formulas if either x or y stand for mobjects). Notwithstanding, the primitive
relation ≡ applies to them, and it has the properties of an equivalence relation.
The concept of extensional identity, as said above, is a defined notion, and it has
the properties of standard identity of ZFU. More precisely, we write x = E y (read ‘x
and y are extensionally identical’) iff they are both qsets having the same elements
(that is, ∀z(z ∈ x ↔ z ∈ y)) or they are both M atoms and belong to the same qsets
(that is, ∀z(x ∈ z ↔ y ∈ z)). From now on, we shall not bother to always write = E ,
using simply the symbol “=” for the extensional equality, as we have done above.
Since matoms are to stand for entities which cannot be labeled, for they do not
enter in the relation of identity, it is not possible in general to attribute an ordinal
(x − [[z]]) ∪ [[w]] ≡ x.
The theorem works to the effect that, supposing that x has n elements, then
if we ‘exchange’ their elements z by corresponding indistinguishable elements w
(set theoretically, this means performing the operation (x − [[z]]) ∪ [[w]]), then
the resulting quasiset remains indistinguishable from the one we started with. In
a certain sense, it does not matter whether we are dealing with x or with (x −
[[z]]) ∪ [[w]]. So, within Q, we can express that ‘permutations are not observable’,
without necessarily introducing symmetry postulates, and in particular to derive ‘in
a natural way’ the quantum statistics (see Krause et al. 1999; French & Krause 2006,
chap.7). Further applications to the foundations of quantum mechanics can be seen
in Domenech et al. 2008.
From now on, we shall be working in the classical part of Q (that is, we use it as
our metatheory), which was shown in the above section to be that part of Q in
which classical mathematics can be developed, and which deals with what we call
the ‘classical entities’ of the theory. Our goal is to show how the syntax of first
order theories can be developed in Q, and in particular, the syntactical part of Q
itself, (formulas and symbols should be understood as classical items) when Q is
also taken as the object language. We will not go into the details when they can be
recovered from our previous discussion for the classical case.
Once again, the individual variables of the theory are to be represented by the
set ω, which exists in the classical part of Q. For the case of the logical symbols, as
before ¬ is the pair 〈0, 0〉, → is 〈0, 1〉, and ∀ is 〈0, 3〉. We can go on and define the
nonlogical vocabulary for firstorder theories, just by considering how predicates
can be taken to be certain quasisets as we did before in the case of classical logic,
taking them to be some specific sets. Our goal now is to consider the particular case
of the nonlogical vocabulary of Q itself, considered as an object theory.
For m, M and Z, which are unary predicate symbols of Q, we define respectively
the quasisets 〈1, 1〉, 〈2, 1〉 and 〈3, 1〉. Here, the second number indicate the rank of
the symbol, while the first one indicates the particular enumeration of the symbol.
This is the general reasoning behind the attribution. For the binary relations ≡ and
∈ we define 〈1, 2〉 and 〈2, 2〉, respectively. Finally, for the functional symbol qc we
attribute 〈4, 1〉.
As before, the quasisets of formulas can now be defined but, since now we have
a functional symbol qc as an additional term along with variables, we must say what
we mean by a quasiset of terms. As said above, the variables are the elements of ω.
For the terms of the form qc(x n ), we take the quasiset [〈qc, n〉 : n ∈ ω]. The terms
are the elements of the qset T defined as ω ∪ [〈qc, n〉 : n ∈ ω]. For easy reference,
we denote an arbitrary element of T by t n .
Thus we have in our particular case atomic formulas of the type t n ≡ t m , which
as before are seen as triples, but now with ≡ replacing =, that is, 〈t n , ≡, t m 〉. The
atomic formulas of this type constitute the qset At ≡ , which by definition is the quasi
set T ×{≡}× T. Formulas of the form mt n , Z t n , M t n , and t n ∈ t m are particular cases
of formulas of the general form P n x i0 . . . x in−1 . As before, each of them is taken to
be a pair 〈P n , f 〉, where f is a quasifunction from n (the rank of the symbol in
question) to T, so that, for example, if f is such that f (0) = 〈qc, n〉 and f (1) = 2,
then 〈∈, f 〉 is the formula qc(x n ) ∈ x 2 . The quasiset of all such formulas, At P is by
definition [〈P n , f 〉 : n ∈ ω and f : n 7→ T].
With these details explicated, the quasiset F of formulas of quasiset theory turns
to be the smallest quasiset satisfying the conditions:
1. At ≡
S
At P ∈ F;
2. if α ∈ F, then 〈¬, α〉 ∈ F;
3. if α, β ∈ F, then 〈α, →, β〉 ∈ F;
Let us call the firstorder underlying logic of Q ‘the logic of indiscernibility’, LQ . Its
language has the usual logical connectives ¬, ∧, ∨ and → (one needs to assume only
¬ and → as primitive, the other ones being defined as usual), a denumerable set of
individual variables x 1 , x 2 , . . ., and a binary predicate symbol ≡. Specific nonlogical
symbols can be added, as for instance, in the case of Q, the unary predicate symbols
m, M and Z, the binary predicate symbol ∈ and the unary functional symbol qc.
Terms and formulas are defined as usual.
The postulates of LQ are the following ones:
(a) ∀x(x ≡ x)
(b) ∀x∀ y(x ≡ y → y ≡ x)
(c) ∀x∀ y∀z(x ≡ y ∧ y ≡ z → x ≡ z)
ourselves to a classical part of Q and grant that we are not taking everything to be
classical sets, in particular, not everything in the intended range of quantification
must be an individual, when the intended interpretation of the symbols come into
consideration.
The situation is analogous to the formulation of classical set theory. One starts
with some sets of symbols and, by applying the usual procedures, we can develop
a formal theory of set theory. So, if one wants to argue that quasiset theory neces
sitates a classical theory to be formulated, for the very syntax presupposes classical
concepts, we can respond to this objection by showing that it indeed needs some
classical concepts, but these can come from a quasiset theory which is being in this
case used as metalanguage.
The second and most important point of interest for our purposes is that since Q
has a firstorder underlying logic LQ , the foregoing construction helps us in avoiding
falling in the trap mentioned in the beginning of our paper. There we mentioned that
a nonclassical logic becomes committed, through the metalanguage, with the very
classical principles it meant to avoid, if its semantics is developed in ZFC or other
classical set theory. Now we recall that the underlying logic of quasiset theory must
not be simply classical firstorder logic without identity, for the semantics for these
logics are made in ZFC, as we have exemplified above with the case of an equivalence
relation modeling ≡. So, despite the fact that the axioms were the same as those
presented for firstorder classical logic, the semantics of LQ is based in quasiset
theory, allowing for nonindividuals in the range of quantification. This kind of
semantics is a generalization of Tarskian semantics, and it is in fact the specific case
presented in French & Krause 2006, chap.8.
To insist a little more on this topic, the underlying logic of Q, when considered
from the syntactical point of view, is a first order language without identity, whose
axioms are the same as those used for classical logic (see the presentation of LQ
above). But the intended semantics for this logics differs from the specific one for
classical logic. When providing the semantics for LQ , we allow that not only sets can
be used in the domain of quantification, but also quasisets, so that nonindividuals
also may appear there. It is a matter of generalization of the usual case, having the
classical semantics as a limit case.
Again, to avoid confusion, it is important to distinguish between the theory we
are studying and the theory we are using to develop these matters. We use quasi
set theory to clarify the semantics of a firstorder logic LQ . By the nature of its
semantics, LQ is a nonclassical logic, more specifically, it is a kind of nonreflexive
logic, since it permits that objects for which neither identity nor difference applies
appear in the domain of quantification, and it is exactly the logic underlying the
formal system of quasiset theory Q which we investigate, the object theory. So,
through these devices we can show how to develop the underlying logic of Q without
(as in quasiset theory, where it is, as we have seen, a congruence relation). With
indistinguishability, one obtains identity as a derived notion, which we can apply
when dealing with everyday objects, by taking its negation, discernibility, to be un
derstood as difference. That is, for usual things, we take that discernibility acts as
a fake individuation principle, and we make no claim that it neither really individ
uates only one object, nor that it ascribes a kind of primitive thisness to it. That is,
we do not go beyond those assumption that are convenient for practical purposes.
So, language works as usual, with names and quantification, for these items, and
everything works as if they were individuals (some of these ideas are a modification
of some proposals that were first advanced by Teller 1998).
Secondly, to understand the quantifiers in an informal sense, when they are ap
plied to the intuitive aggregates of nonindividuals, we don’t need to use identity, for
we can resort to a distinguishing feature of such aggregates: the cardinal number.
When we say something such as ‘all items are so and so’, we can make a paraphrase
and consider it to mean ‘All m of them are such and such’, the m belonging to a
suitable qset. Difference (the negation of identity), at least within these contexts
involving indistinguishable items, can be derived from the cardinality talk. Taking
the cardinals as having primacy, difference is then a derived byproduct, for we may
assume that, since there are ‘more than one item’, they may be thought as being
distinct, although this kind of talk might be not expressed in the object language.
Anyway, the ‘cardinal talk’ does not imply difference. Just for a simple example,
let us consider a collection with two indistinguishable members (for instance, two
bosons in the same state). We can say (in the metalanguage) that they are different,
not because we present some distinctive feature (they really do not present any),
but because they are two, and the difference should be taken not as the negation of
usual identity, but just as an abbreviation of speech.
Our claim is that one can consistently maintain that all these features are cap
tured in our previous discussion on the semantics of the underlying logic of Q. This
is one of the possible ways to give and intuitive semantics to quantifiers when we
consider that we are dealing with aggregates that might have a quasiset theoretical
behavior. Our tentative proposal of basing the intuitive understanding of quantifiers
and even the usual reference mechanisms for classical objects, is a first approach on
the subject, but we think there is still much to be said in favor of such an approach,
and we shall work on the details in future papers.
7. Conclusion
In this paper we were concerned with a semantics for a particular kind of non
reflexive logic. Our suggestion was that we can employ quasiset theory to help us
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Resumo. Neste artigo discutimos algumas questões propostas por Newton da Costa rela
cionadas aos fundamentos da teoria de quaseconjuntos. Seus questionamentos aqui consi
derados tratam da possibilidade de uma compreenão semântica da teoria, principalmente
devido ao fato de que identidade e diferença podem não ser aplicáveis para algumas das
entidades no domínio pretendido da teoria. De acordo com ele, o modo usual de se com
preender os quantificadores utilizados na teoria depende da hipótese de que a identidade
deve valer para todas as entidades no domínio de discurso. Inspirados pelas suas questões,
sugerimos que essas dificuldades podem ser superadas tanto em um nível formal quanto em
um nível informal, mostrando como a quantificação sobre itens para os quais a identidade
não faz sentido pode ser entendida sem pressupor uma semântica baseada em uma teoria
de ‘clássica’ de conjuntos.
Notes
1
Of course there are several distinct formulations of ZF, say in firstorder logic or higher
order logic, and even taken one of these approaches, one has several alternatives.
2
Interesting that the physicist and philosopher C. F. von Waizsäcker expressed similar opin
ion by means of his ‘principle of semantic consistency’, according to which “the rules by we
describe and guide our measurement, defining the semantics of the formalism of a theory,
must be in accordance with the laws of the theory” (cited by Jammer 1974, 156).
3
We call nonreflexive those logics which deviate from the ‘traditional theory of identity’,
in particular, by violating the principle of identity in some of its forms. The paradigmatic
case is related to the firstorder reflexive law of identity, namely, ∀x(x = x), also called the
principle of identity of the firstorder classical logic.
4
Although Schrödinger restricted his discussions to the particles of nonrelativistic quantum
mechanics, we can extend the discussion to the ‘particles’ of other quantum theories as well;
for an account on such distinctions, see Falkenburg 2007, chap.6.
5
It should be remembered that according to the standard definition, a cardinal is a particular
ordinal, hence it makes sense only under an identification of the considered elements.
6
This is of course a way of speech.
7
We just recall that an ordinal is a transitive set which is wellordered by the membership
relation, and that a cardinal is an ordinal α such that for no β < α there does not exist a
bijection from β to α. For details of these concepts, see Devlin 1993.
8
The notion of quasicardinal can be defined for finite quasisets; see Domenech & Holik
2007.
9
The second author was supported by an individual research grant from The National Coun
cil for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), process #304540/20064.
Abstract. In this paper, I examine three models of reduction. The first, and the most restric
tive, is the model developed by Ernest Nagel as part of the logical empiricist program. The
second, articulated by Jerry Fodor, is significantly broader, but it seems unable to make sense
of a salient feature of scientific practice. The third, and the most lenient, model is developed
within Newton da Costa and Steven French’s partial structures approach. I argue that the
third model preserves the benefits of Fodor’s proposal, and it is still able to accommodate
relevant aspects of scientific practice. In particular, it offers a conception of reduction with
out reductionism, and an account of the relation between reduced and reducing theories via
unsharp mappings and partial structures—even in the presence of incomplete information.
1. Introduction
The concept of reduction has played a significant role in early conceptions of sci
ence, particularly those articulated by logical empiricists, such as Rudolf Carnap
(1928/1967) and Ernest Nagel (1961). It also played an important role in philo
sophical reconstructions of mathematics in the hands of Gottlob Frege (1893, 1903),
with the reduction of arithmetic to secondorder logic plus definitions. Part of the
difficulty of these early approaches to reduction is the extremely tight connection
they require between the domains under study: the reducing and the reduced.
In response to this sort of concern, Jerry Fodor has offered a very interesting, and
much less restrictive, model of reduction, with the additional bonus of preserving
the autonomy of the special sciences (see Fodor 1974 and 1997). This is clearly the
right move to make. But Fodor’s proposal faces a difficulty to accommodate certain
aspects of scientific practice, in particular given the use of quantum mechanics in
chemistry. In this paper, building on Fodor’s approach, I offer an alternative, also
less restrictive, model of reduction. In order to do that, I explore the resources of
Newton da Costa and Steven French’s partial structures approach (see da Costa and
French 2003), and examine in which way we can still consider a place for reduction
in contemporary science.
To set out the scene, I will start by considering two models of reduction: Nagel’s
reduction and Fodor’s reduction.2 Nagel’s reduction is obtained via derivability: one
is supposed to establish a derivation relation between reduced and reducing theories.
The proposal is inspired in Frege’s approach to the logical foundations of arithmetic,
and it extends the approach to the empirical sciences. Similarly to Frege’s, Nagel’s
proposal demands a very strict relation between the theories involved. In contrast,
Fodor’s reduction is obtained via the introduction of disjunctive properties. The
proposal offers a significantly less restrictive connection between the reducing and
reduced theories. And, in particular, it allows for exceptions in the laws of the
special sciences—a much more promising strategy. I will critically examine each of
these models of reduction in turn.
Clearly, if the reduced and reducing theories don’t have a shared vocabulary, no
logical derivation between them could be established.
In order to address this difficulty, Nagel introduces two “necessary formal condi
tions” that need to be in place so that the reduction can occur. (a) The first is the
existence of bridge laws, which are used to link the vocabularies of the reduced and
the reducing theories.
The assumptions Nagel refers to above are precisely the bridge laws. (b) The second
required formal condition is derivability. In order to be able to reduce one theory to
another, on Nagel’s model, one needs to be able to derive the laws of the reduced
theory from those of the reducing one. As Nagel points out:
With the help of these additional assumptions (the bridge laws], all the
laws of the secondary science, including those containing the term ‘A’, must
be logically derivable from the theoretical premises and their associated co
ordinating definitions in the primary discipline. (Nagel 1961: 353–4.)
It is, therefore, crucial to establish, empirically, the identity of the relevant objects.
What Nagel needs, before Saul Kripke, are necessary a posteriori identity statements.
It turns out, however, that Nagel’s proposal faces several difficulties. (1) Strictly
speaking, we hardly ever have logical derivations in scientific practice. Thus, we
hardly ever find actual cases of reduction in Nagel’s sense. The paradigmatic ex
ample that Nagel offers of reduction is the reduction of the Galilean laws of falling
bodies to Newtonian mechanics. But not even this case actually works. At best, we
can derive from Newtonian mechanics approximations to the laws of the Galilean
theory. But these approximations are, in fact, incompatible with the actual laws.
Thus, no logical derivations are actually established between the two theories (see
Sklar 1967: 110–1, and Batterman 2002: 62).
(2) Even if we could derive the reduced theory from the reducing one, the latter
typically corrects the former (Feyerabend 1962). Consider, for instance, the con
cept of temperature from classical thermodynamics. This is a nonstatistical con
cept, characterized in terms of Carnot cycles, and it is related to the nonstatistical
second law of thermodynamics. Consider, now, the alleged reduction of classical
thermodynamics to statistical mechanics. The “reduction” doesn’t identify nonsta
tistical items in the reducing theory (statistical mechanics) with the nonstatistical
concept of temperature as the latter is found in the reduced theory (thermody
namics). In fact, given that, as opposed to statistical mechanics, thermodynam
ics is not a statistical theory, it is unclear how we could even find a bridge law
that captures the concept of temperature and the function it plays in thermodynam
ics. That is, it is unclear how the alleged reduction could ever be established (see
Batterman 2002: 64).
Perhaps the Nagelian could take the point. She could incorporate into the char
acterization of reduction the idea that the reduced theory ends up being corrected by
the reducing theory. That is, the outcome of the reduction process may well be a cor
rected version of the reduced theory. In fact, several physicists now would agree that
the concept of temperature in classical thermodynamics and other concepts in that
theory, such as entropy, have to be changed in light of the “reduction” to statistical
mechanics. Physicists even speak of the theory of statistical thermodynamics. Thus,
reduction can play an important role in the process of correction and refinement of
scientific theories.
Schaffner (1976) explicitly incorporates into a Nagelian framework the idea of a
“corrected reduced theory” (Shaffner 1976: 618). A theory T reduces a theory T 0 if,
and only if, there is a corrected version of T 0 , call it T 0∗ , such that:
(a) the primitive terms of T 0∗ are associated via bridge laws with various terms
of T ;
(b) T 0∗ is derivable from T when it is supplemented with such bridge laws;
(c) T 0∗ corrects T 0 in that it makes more accurate predictions than T 0 does;
(d) T 0 is explained by T in that T 0 and T 0∗ are strongly analogous to one another,
and T indicates why T 0 works as well as it does in its domain of validity.
count of a different concept: what we are dealing with here is a process of theory
refinement (see also Batterman 2002: 64–5).
(3) Even the revised Nagelian approach does not quite work due to the phe
nomenon of multiple realization (Fodor 1974 and 1997; see Batterman 2002: 65
68). The central idea is that “upper level” properties (such as psychological states)
are potentially realized in a huge variety of heterogeneous lower level physical states.
This multiple realizability would make it impossible to establish the bridge laws that,
on the Nagelian approach, are required for the derivation of the laws of the reduced
theory (in the special sciences) from the laws of the reducing theory (e.g. physics).
The central point is the heterogeneity of the lower level realizers of the properties of
the upper level special sciences. The heterogeneity makes it impossible to identify
the relevant items in the bridge laws. (Recall that the latter requires a necessary a
posteriori identity relation.)
Given these difficulties with the Nagelian approach to reduction, a different,
more lenient, model is in order. Fodor offers this model.
In other words, the crucial feature of token physicalism is the idea that, ultimately,
the events described by the sciences are physical.
It is important, however, to distinguish token physicalism from type physicalism.
According to type physicalism, “every property mentioned in the laws of any sci
ence is a physical property” (Fodor 1974: 100). Token physicalism is weaker than
type physicalism, given that the former does not entail, but is entailed by, the latter.
After all, “the contingent identity of a pair of events presumably does not guar
antee the identity of the properties whose instantiation constitutes the events; not
even when the event identity is nomologically necessary” (Fodor 1974: 100). Type
physicalism, though, does entail token physicalism. For “if an event is simply the in
stantiation of a property [. . . ], two events will be identical when they consist of the
instantiation of the same property by the same individual at the same time” (Fodor
1974: 100). Fodor is only committed to the weaker, and more plausible, form of
physicalism.
What is the connection between token physicalism and reductionism (or reduc
tivism)? Here is Fodor’s answer:
Reductivism [or reductionism] is the conjunction of token physicalism with
the assumption that there are natural kind predicates in an ideally com
pleted physics which correspond to each natural kind predicate in any ide
ally completed special science. (Fodor 1974: 100.)
Note the sudden introduction of (i) natural kinds, and (ii) the requirement that
there be a correspondence between natural kind predicates in a completed physics
with each natural kind predicate in the completed special sciences. But what exactly
would count as an “ideally completed physics” and an “ideally completed special
science”? Can we really make sense of what such a science would be like? Neither
natural kinds nor the idea of an “ideally completed science” are found in Nagel’s
conception of reduction.
Given this conception of reductionism, it is not surprising that Fodor wants to
move away from it. As he emphasizes:
It will be one of my morals that the truth of reductivism [reductionism] can
not be inferred from the assumption that token physicalism is true. Reduc
tivism is a sufficient, but not a necessary, condition for token physicalism.
(Fodor 1974: 1001.)

(d) Laws of reducing science
(i) The proposal allows us to see how the laws of the special sciences can reason
ably have exceptions—a wellknown fact about these sciences. Any S1 event
of the type P 0 —for which there is no corresponding S2 event—will be an ex
ception to the law S1 x → S2 x.
(ii) Fodor’s proposal does not require that bridge statements be laws. Given the
multiple realizability phenomenon bridge statements will inevitably connect
disjunctive predicates. Fodor doubts that disjunctive predicates can be taken
to be kind predicates (Fodor 1974: 109), but given that he also takes laws to
be connections among natural kinds (Fodor 1974: 101–2), it follows that, on
his view, bridge statements are not laws.
(iii) Fodor’s proposal is weaker than reductionism (in Fodor’s sense). After all, the
proposal “does not imply a correspondence between the kind predicates of the
reduced and the reducing science” (Fodor 1974: 110).
(iv) Finally, Fodor’s proposal implies physicalism. After all, his proposal satisfies
“the same assumption that makes standard reductivism [reductionism] physi
calistic (namely, that bridge statements express true token identities)” (Fodor
1974: 110).
In order to motivate the third model of reduction, I will consider an aspect of the re
lation between chemistry and nonrelativist quantum mechanics (QM) as it emerges
in the context of actual chemical practice. One of the most unexpected features of
QM is the way in which, at least on a significant interpretation of the theory, the
concept of identity cannot be applied to elementary particles.3 According to Erwin
Schrödinger, one of the main proponents of this view:
As our mental eye penetrates into smaller and smaller distances and shorter
and shorter times, we find nature behaving so entirely differently from what
we observe in visible and palpable bodies of our surroundings that no model
shaped after our largescale experiences can ever be true. (Schrödinger
1952: 17–8.)
In particular, as Schrödinger insists (1952: 17–8), one of the most significant dif
ferences between the macroscopic and the microscopic worlds is that the concept of
identity lacks any sense if it is applied to elementary particles.
Now, if quantum particles lack identity conditions, it is unclear how exactly the
laws of quantum mechanics can be used to explain how “larger” objects that are
studied in chemistry (such as molecules, inorganic crystals etc.) do have identity
conditions. Moreover, if quantum particles lack identity conditions, it is unclear
how we will be able to express a bridge statement that connects chemical predicates
(such as, “x is a crystalline inorganic solid”) with corresponding quantum mechan
ical predicates involving quantum particles (such as “x is the electron that. . . ”).
After all, on Schrödinger’s interpretation, “the electron” is not a meaningful expres
sion. And if such bridge statements are not available, Fodor’s proposal cannot get
off the ground, given that, ultimately, it depends on the identification of items in the
reducing science to items in the special science. Given the presumed lack of identity
conditions for elementary particles, how do chemists manage to do their own work?
As is well known, we can divide crystalline inorganic solids into three groups:
metals, semiconductors, and insulators. All of them have bands, that is, nearly con
tinuous energy levels. The central different is that while metals have a partially filled
band, semiconductors have a completely filled band (called the “valence band”),
which is separated from the (mostly empty) conduction band by a bandgap E g . In
sulators, in turn, have the same electronic structure as semiconductors, except that
they have a larger bandgap E g . As a result, insulators are poor conductors, since
they demand more energy to shift electrons from one band to another. Quantum
dots are semiconductors with all three dimensions in the 110 nanometer (nm) size
range (see Murphy and Coffer 2002).
Let us now suppose that a semiconductor is irradiated with light of energy hv >
E g . In this case, Murphy and Coffer note:
An electron will be promoted from the valence band to the conduction band,
leaving a positively charged “hole” behind. This hole can be thought of as
the absence of an electron and acts as a particle with its own effective mass
and charge in the solid. (Murphy and Coffer 2002: 17A.)
And suppose that we are interested in calculating the spatial separation of the elec
tron and its hole (which is called an “exciton”). We can carry out the calculation by
invoking a modified Bohr model.4 As Murphy and Coffer indicate:
For typical semiconductor dielectric constants, the calculation suggests that
the electronhole pair spatial separation is ~110 nm for most semiconduc
tors. In this size range, when the exciton is created, the physical dimensions
of the particle confine the exciton in a manner similar to the particleina
box problem of physical chemistry. Therefore, the quantum effects such as
quantization of energy levels can be observed in principle. (Murphy and
Coffer 2002: 17A.)
If we note the way in which Murphy and Coffer refer to electrons in this context,
it becomes clear what is needed in order to refer to electrons despite their assumed
lack of identity conditions. What we need is a broader notion of mapping: an un
sharp mapping from the relevant models of the reducing science (QM) to the relevant
models of the special science (chemistry), which does not require that the things that
are being mapped have welldefined identity conditions. The mapping is unsharp in
that instead of being defined for each individual element of its domain, it is defined
for equivalence classes of elements of the domain (see Bueno [2006]). With such
an unsharp mapping in place, we can make sense of the way in which chemists can
do their work even if they are dealing with elementary particles that lack identity
conditions.
Note, once again, the way in which Murphy and Coffer describe the situation:
An electron will be promoted from the valence band to the conduction band
[. . . ]. This hole can be thought of as the absence of an electron and acts as
a particle [. . . ]. (Murphy and Coffer 2002: 17A; italics added.)
Clearly, identity conditions for electrons are never asserted here, nor is it even pre
supposed that electrons have identity conditions. All that is required is that we pick
out an electron from a whole bunch of indistinguishable electrons—any one of them
will do. Instead of a precise way of uniquely picking out a particular electron, all we
need is an unsharp mapping from equivalence classes of electrons to the Bohr model,
and from that model to the models that describe the chemical phenomena under
consideration. In other words, what we need are unsharp mappings between the
models of the reducing theory (QM) and the models of the special science (chem
istry).
study this domain, researchers formulate a conceptual framework that helps them
systematize and interpret the information they obtain about ∆. This domain can be
represented by a set D of objects (which includes real objects, such as configurations
in a Wilson chamber and spectral lines, and “ideal” objects, such as quarks). D is
studied by the examination of the relations that hold among its elements. However,
it often happens that, given a relation R defined over D, we just do not know whether
R relates all objects of D (or ntuples thereof). Moreover, we often need to ignore
some of the relations that are known to hold among objects of D in order to study
other relations in that domain in a tractable way. This is part of the incompleteness
and partiality of our information about ∆, and is formally accommodated by partial
relations and partial structures.
In terms of these structures, appropriate characterizations of partial isomorphism
and partial homomorphism can then be offered (see Bueno, French and Ladyman,
2002). Given that the latter notions are more openended than the standard ones,
they accommodate better the partiality of structures found in scientific practice. Let
S = 〈D, R i 〉i∈I and S 0 = 〈D0 , R0i∈I be partial structures. So, each R i is a partial relation
of the form 〈R1 , R2 , R3 〉, and each R0i a partial relation of the form 〈R01 , R02 , R03 〉.6
We say that a partial function7 f : D → D0 is a partial isomorphism between S
and S 0 if (i) f is bijective, and (ii) for every x and y ∈ D, R1 x y ↔ R01 f (x) f ( y)
and R2 x y ↔ R02 f (x) f ( y). So, when R3 and R03 are empty (that is, when we are
considering total structures), we have the standard notion of isomorphism.
Moreover, we say that a partial function f : D → D0 is a partial homomor
phism from S to S 0 if for every x and every y in D, R1 x y → R01 f (x) f ( y) and
R2 x y → R02 f (x) f ( y). Again, if R3 and R03 are empty, we obtain the standard no
tion of homomorphism as a particular case.
Note two crucial differences between partial isomorphism and partial homomor
phism. First, a partial homomorphism does not require that the domains D and D0
of the partial structures under study have the same cardinality. Second, a partial
homomorphism does not map the relation R0i into a corresponding relation R i (it is
a oneway mapping only). Clearly a partial homomorphism establishes a much less
strict relation between partial structures.
Moreover, partial isomorphism and partial homomorphism offer mappings
among partial structures that are less tight than their corresponding full counter
parts—isomorphism and homomorphism. Partial mappings, as transformations that
connect different partial structures that can be used in scientific practice, allow for
the transferring of information from one domain into another—even when the in
formation in question is incomplete.
We can then use partial structures and partial mappings to represent the mod
els of the reducing and the reduced theories. This offers an additional source of
openness for Fodor’s account of reduction. The partial mappings make possible to
4. Conclusion
If the considerations above are near the mark, just as with Fodor’s own account, the
use of unsharp mappings and partial mappings provides us with a minimal, weak
conception of “reduction” without reductionism. And, by invoking these mappings,
the partial structure proposal just sketched has the added bonus of being a little
closer to scientific practice.
References
Batterman, R. 2002. The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction,
and Emergence. New York: Oxford University Press.
Bueno, O. 2000. QuasiTruth in QuasiSet Theory. Synthese 125: 33–53.
———. 2006. Representation at the Nanoscale. Philosophy of Science 73: 617–28.
Bueno, O.; French, S.; Ladyman, J. 2002. On Representing the Relationship between the
Mathematical and the Empirical. Philosophy of Science 69: 497–518.
Carnap, R. 1928/1967. The Logical Structure of the World and Pseudoproblems in Philosophy.
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ceedings of the 1974 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. Boston: D.
Reidel Publishing Company.
da Costa, N. C. A. & French, S. 2003. Science and Partial Truth. New York: Oxford University
Press.
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3. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
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1962, pp. 28–97.
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spectives 11: 149–63.
Frege, G. 1893/1903. Grundgesetze der Arithmetik, 2 volumes. Jena: Pohle. (Reprinted by
Georg Olms, Hildesheim, 1962.)
French, S. & Krause, D. 2006. Identity in Physics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Murphy, C. & Coffer, J. 2002. Quantum Dots: A Primer. Applied Spectroscopy 56: 16A–27A.
Nagel, E. 1961 The Structure of Science. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Schaffner, K. 1976. Reductionism in Biology: Prospects and Problems. In Cohen et al. (eds.)
1976, pp. 613–32.
Schrödinger, E. 1952. Science and Humanism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sklar, L. 1967. Types of InterTheoretic Reduction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
18, pp. 109–24.
van Fraassen, B. C. 1989. Laws and Symmetry. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
OTÁVIO BUENO
Department of Philosophy
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL 331244670, USA
otaviobueno@mac.com
Resumo. Neste artigo, examino três modelos de redução. O primeiro, e mais restritivo,
foi desenvolvido por Ernest Nagel como parte do programa empirista lógico. O segundo,
articulado por Jerry Fodor, embora sendo significativamente mais amplo, é incapaz de dar
sentido a uma característica saliente da prática científica. O terceiro modelo, que é também
Notes
1
It is a pleasure to dedicate this paper to Professor Newton da Costa, on the occasion of his
80 th birthday. Since my first publication—a joint paper with Professor Newton (as we call
him in Portuguese)—so much of my work has been shaped and nurtured by his insightful
and illuminating conception of the foundations of science, by his generous mind, and his
critical acumen. His friendship, continuous help, and the collaboration with him mean the
world to me. This paper, which uses the partial structures approach, is of course no exception
among all of those works that rely on his sophisticated conception. I like to think that he will
enjoy the paper, given that he is definitely not a reductionist—even though I am sure he will
not approve of my loose use of the concept of model! (I promise I will not do that again
when I write my paper celebrating his 90 th birthday!)
2
I follow here the very lucid discussion offered by Robert Batterman (see Batterman 2002:
61–76).
3
For a systematic and insightful discussion of this issue, see French and Krause 2006.
4
According to this model:
r = εh2 /πm t e2
where r is the radius of the sphere defined by the threedimensional separation of the
electronhole pair; ε is the dielectric constant of the semiconductor; m t is the reduced mass
of the electronhole pair; h is Planck’s constant, and e is the charge of the electron (see
Murphy and Coffer 2002: 17A).
5
I follow here da Costa and French [2003].
6
For simplicity, I will take the partial relations in the definitions that follow to be twoplace
relations. The definitions, of course, hold for any nplace relations.
7
A partial function is a function that is not defined for every object in its domain.
8
The set theory in question is quasiset theory; for a thorough discussion, see French and
Krause 2006.
Abstract. Jaakko Hintikka, in a series of talks in Brazil in 2008, defended that IF (“in
dependencefriendly”) logic and paraconsistent logic are, in a sense, very similar. Having
sketched the proposal of a new paraconsistent system, he maintains that several achieve
ments of IF logic could be reproducible in paraconsistent logic. One of the major difficulties,
left as a challenge, would be to formulate some truth conditions for this new paraconsistent
firstorder language in order to make IF logic and paraconsistent logic more interrelated.
My proposal is that this would demand an innovative gametheoretical semantic approach
to paraconsistentism, but also that the syntax of the paraconsistent “Logics of Formal In
consistency” can model the internal logic of Socratic elenchi. I aim to discuss these, and
other points posed by Hintikka, as challenges and opportunities for paraconsistentism, para
consistent logics and IF logics, as well as to raise some criticisms on Hintikka’s view about
paraconsistency.
Independence friendly (IF) logic, as Jaakko Hintiikka defends in several places and
in Hintikka 2010, is not any alternative or “nonclassical” logic, but replaces first
order logic by fixing some of its flaws. One of these flaws, according to Hintikka,
is that usual quantification theory is unable to express dependence or independence
from a variable x bounded by a quantifier Q(x) with respect to another variable
y bounded by another quantifier Q0 ( y). A satisfactory logical syntax ought to be
able to express all such logically possible patterns of dependence and independence
between variables, but usual quantification does not, since it just specifies that the
scope of one quantifier would be included in the scope of the other. Appealing to
generalized quantifiers is not better, as the entire theory of quantifiers, generalized
from the classics, suffers from analogous deficiency.
The key is to understand how nested quantifiers are connected or dependent. If,
for instance, quantifiers Q 1 x and Q 2 y are nested, as in:
To honor the town of Paraty, where the meeting that inspired his paper was
held, Hintikka dubbed this new logic paratyconsistent logic, which is obtained as a
semantical translation of IF logic. Several questions are prompted by this new logic:
(1) How to define the corresponding syntactical translation from IF logic which
would axiomatize paratyconsistent logic?
This enterprise is in principle not unfeasible, since the true sentences of paraty
consistent logic are obtained from the “not false” sentences in IF logic, which are
known to make a recursively enumerable collection. However, it is doubtful that
such a recursive axiomatization would grant completeness to paratyconsistent logic
with respect to the intended semantics, since IF logic itself is not characterizable by
any recursive axiomatization.
But even before tackling the syntactical side of this new paraconsistent logic, its
semantics have problems waiting to be clarified. As in any paraconsistent logic, in
terpreting negation is challenging. A quotation in Hintikka 2010, section 7, adduces
a particular point:
This difficulty, however, has been already faced by paraconsistent logic with a
relatively high degree of success: the possibletranslations semantics, introduced al
most two decades ago in Carnielli 1990 (reworked in Marcos 1999 and Carnielli
2000).
Possibletranslations semantics make extensive use of a translation between a
logic L1 and a logic L2: a translation is a mapping ∗ : L1 / L2 such that, for
every set Γ ∪ {α} of L1formulas,
Here, α∗ denotes ∗(α) and Γ∗ stands for {γ∗ : γ ∈ Γ}. If ‘implies’ is replaced by ‘iff’
in the definition above, then ∗ is called a conservative translation. A general account
on translations and their generalizations (transfers and contextual translations) is
done in Carnielli, Coniglio & D’ Ottaviano 2009. It should be remarked that it is this
idea of translation, albeit in a less formal way, which underlies the shift from IF logic
to paratyconsistent logic explained above.
Now, possibletranslations semantics deal in a very natural way with the question
of handling two negations (or, in general, several connectives of a similar kind) in
a same logic. Consider, for instance, the following threevalued matrices, where T
and t are the designated values:
∧ T t F ∨ T t F
T t t F T t t t
t t t F t t t t
F F F F F t t F
→ T t F ¬ 1 ¬ 2 ◦1 ◦2
T t t F T F F t F
t t t F t F t F F
F t t t F T t t F
Such tables give a precise semantical interpretation for the logic mbC, a simple
and decent logic of the family of the “Logics of Formal Inconsistency” studied in
Carnielli, Coniglio & Marcos 2007. The truthvalue t may be interpreted as ‘true by
default’, or ‘true by lack of evidence to the contrary’, and T and F are the familiar
‘true’ and ‘false’ truthvalues. As it can be seen by inspecting the tables, the matrices
for conjunction, disjunction and implication are free from the value T , so the com
pound sentences are always either frankly false (i.e., receive the truthvalue F ) or
‘true by default’.
The novelty (with respect to traditional semantics) is that there are two distinct
interpretations for the negation connective ¬ and for the consistency operator ◦.
This is understandable from the idea that propositions can be valuated in multiple
scenarios. We may think that propositions are either plain false, or are evaluated as t
or T . The first situation concerns a truebydefault proposition, which is treated as a
false proposition by the negation ¬2 (since ¬2 t = t) and as true by ¬1 (since ¬1 t =
F ). On what concerns the consistency operator ◦, the first interpretation ◦1 only
considers as consistent the ‘classical’ values T and F , while ◦2 considers that nothing
is consistent (i.e., ◦2 assigns F to every truthvalue) . This can be viewed as two
“logical worlds”, one endowed with ∧, ∨, →, ¬1 and ◦1 and other with with ∧, ∨, →
, ¬2 and ◦2 . However, these two “logical worlds” engender combined valuations,
according to which threevalued interpretation is assigned to the connectives by the
translations.
This collection of truthtables, which we call M0 , will be used to give the de
0
sired semantics for mbC. Now, considering the algebra ForM of formulas generated
by P over the signature of M0 , let’s define the set TR0 consisting of all functions
∗ : For ◦ / For 0 subjected to the following clauses:
M
(t r0) p∗ = p, if p ∈ P ;
(t r1) (α#β)∗ = (α∗ #β ∗ ), for all # ∈ {∧, ∨, →};
(t r2) (¬α)∗ ∈ {¬1 α∗ , ¬2 α∗ };
(t r3) (◦α)∗ ∈ {◦1 α∗ , ◦2 α∗ , ◦1 (¬α)∗ }.
We say the pair PT0 = 〈M0 , TR0 〉 is a possibletranslations semantical structure for
mbC. If 0M denotes the consequence relation in M0 , and Γ∪{α} is a set of formulas
of mbC, the associated PTconsequence relation, =PT0 , is defined as:
Γ =PT0 α iff Γ∗ 0M α∗ for all translations ∗ in TR0 .
We will call a possible translation of a formula α any image of it through some
function in TR0 .
Not only mbC is sound and complete with respect to such possibletranslations
semantics, but all logics Cn in the wellknown da Costa’s hierarchy can be char
acterized by such semantics in terms of copies of a threevalued logic (L F I1, or
equivalently, J3, see Carnielli 2000).
This requirement for “the deepest methodological change needed for paraconsis
tent logicans to make use of the kinship of paraconsistent logic with IF logic” seems
strange in view of the above mentioned compositional semantics given by Hodges
to IF logic. The challenge reduces, perhaps, to whether the possibletranslations se
mantics is compositional. But considering that the “Principle of Compositionality”
(or “Frege’s Principle”) asserts that the meaning of a complex expression is fully de
termined by the meanings of its constituents and by its structure, it is unequivocal
that possibletranslations semantics are compositional. The only caveat is that the
meaning of the constituent expressions is also determined by the translations, which
are part of the rules used to combine constituent expressions. So, this challenge
seems to be easily dissolved by noshow: on the one hand, the semantics of IF first
order logic does not need to be unavoidably noncompositional, and on the other
hand the semantics of paraconsistent is indeed compositional.
Hintikka criticizes paraconsistent logic by its “weak spot”: its interpretation. And
blow his own horn on proudly speaking on the impact of IF logic as “the best thing
A different question which is not even controversial is that the logic of inter
rogative games should be paraconsistent in the sense of admitting situations
where one’s prima facie information involves contradictions.
They cite, as an example, Charmides and Critias with their high opinions on
themselves, and Critias becoming silent at Charmides (169e) because of feeling
ashamed of having fallen upon an inconsistency.
The dialogical games are a kind of modern hair of dialectical games, which inher
its a dialogue ability to provide a semantics for several logical systems. A dialogical
formulation of paraconsistency was proposed in Rahman & Carnielli 2000 which
permits the building of paraconsistent and paracomplete systems (systems reject
ing tertium nondatur) for propositional and firstorder logic, with their correspond
ing tableaux (see remarks, criticisms and proposals for furthering in Van Bendegem
2001).
3. Socrates then argues (and the Proponent agrees), that B entails ¬A.
4. Socrates then claims that he has shown that ¬A is true and A false.
The main criticism against this interpretation by Vlastos (1994, 11), in short,
is (using logic notions not available to the Greeks, but in a benevolent sense) that
if Γ = {A, B} is inconsistent, then A, B ` ⊥, where ⊥ is the symbol for absurdity
or contradiction (falsum). This is in line with the fact that in usual logic systems
inconsistency and contradictions are indistinguishable, but if A, B ` ⊥ then B ` ¬A,
as the intended interpretation maintains; however, it also holds that A ` ¬B. This is
clearly incoherent with any claim of having shown A to be false and ¬A true.
It is not difficult to be convinced, indeed, that the Socratic method does not con
cern justifying truth claims, but rather testing for logical coherence or consistency.
In favor of Vlastos program, it has to be said that in Vlastos 1982, 711, where com
menting on the difference of what he calls “indirect elenchus” versus the “standard
elenchus” by the Socrates of Plato’s earlier dialogues, he does not only point out
that the former mode of argument is a potent instrument for exposing inconsistency
within the interlocutor’s beliefs, but at page 714 of Vlastos explicitly say:
Success in elenctic argument need not show that one’s own beliefs are con
sistent; it may show only that the opponent’s efforts to probe their inconsis
tencies have been blocked by one’s superior dialectical skill. Socrates could
hardly be unaware of these hazards.
3. Socrates then argues (with the Proponent’s agreement), that {A, B} is incon
sistent; in our meticulous logic mbC, A, B `mbC ¬ ◦ (A ∧ B), but from this it
does not follow neither ¬A nor ¬B ;
4. Socrates has then driven the Opponent to an elenchus without any commit
ment to ¬A being true, and far less to ¬B being true.
An important point is that, in (3), the fact that A, B `mbC ¬◦(A∧B) does not entail
in mbC neither ¬A nor ¬B can be proven through the possibletranslation semantics
for mbC.
Although the consistency operator ◦ of mbC is very elementary, further prop
erties of consistency(e.g., propagation of consistency through disjunction) can be
added by just attaching new axioms; details can be found in Carnielli, Coniglio &
Marcos 2007 and in Carnielli & Marcos 2002. The logic Ci, another member of the
family of the “Logics of Formal Inconsistency”, is obtained from mbC by adding (cf.
Theorem 102 in Carnielli, Coniglio & Marcos 2007) the following axiom schemas:
(ci) ¬◦α → (α ∧ ¬α),
(cf) ¬¬α → α.
It is to be noted that axiom (ci) establishes that the negation of consistency
implies contradiction, while axiom (cf) is just the reduction of negations.
Now one may define an inconsistency connective • by setting •α := ¬◦α. It can be
shown that ¬◦α and (α∧¬α) are equivalent in Ci; moreover, Ci has some (restricted)
forms of contraposition which were missing in mbC, such as α → ◦β ` ¬ ◦ β → ¬α.
But we can go a bit further. The logic Cio, another logic of formal inconsistency,
is obtained (see Carnielli, Coniglio & Marcos 2007, 71) by adding the following
axiom schemas to Ci:
Now, in Cio the law of “spreading consistency”, ◦α → ◦(α ∧ β), holds well;
together with the above contraposition law of Ci one thus easily derives:
`C io ¬ ◦ (α ∧ β) → ¬ ◦ α
A, B `C io ¬ ◦ (A ∧ B)
gives:
A, B `C io ¬ ◦ A
but since
¬ ◦ A `C io ¬A
we in fact obtain
A, B `C io ¬A,
of course, at the cost of assuming a lot of logical laws. It is worth noting that all
such laws are classically valid, but it is clearly excessive to assume all of them in the
elenchic derivation. What seems to be conspicuous is that we do not need to assume
all the machinery of “classical” logic in order to logically express the elenchus. But it
is really relevant to make clear that we are not supposing any extravagant variety of
logic, but just a careful fragment.
The fact that this logical fragment is able to express elenchic derivations, by itself
raises serious doubts on an indulgently accepted tradition: ‘classical” logic does not
seem to coincide with the logic of the classics!
Of course, we also obtain in our analysis the undesired A, B `C io ¬B, which only
shows how excessive the extra laws are. It is also to be remarked that what one
derives is ¬A for a paraconsistent negation ¬. This is not classical negation yet;
in order to derive ∼ A , where ∼ has all properties of classical negation, we need a
further assumption on the degree of consistency (or ‘entrenchment’, as in Castelnérac
& Marion) of B. Only in a situation where one can secure this information on B such
a derivation is possible. In our setting, this means precisely assuming or granting
◦B. The fact that this additional information is necessarily extralogic is argued by
Hintikka himself in Hintikka 2010:
No logic in a genuine sense of the term can provide strategies for deciding
which putative information to reject or not to reject in a context of actual
material inquiry.
But we are left with a conceptual problem: in the “Logics of Formal Inconsis
tency’, as we have seen, contradiction needs not to be identified with inconsistency,
and neither is consistency necessarily identifiable with noncontradiction (though
they may coincide). When not coincidental, what does consistency (represented by
the operator ◦) really mean?
Well, many attributes can be associated with joint denial without being repre
sented by contradictory pairs. In a procedure, for instance, “duration” and “end”
are contrary ideas –they cannot hold together, but a procedure may has not been
started yet, and not finished. So they are contrary, but not contradictory. Or ‘all
courage is endurance of the soul’ and ‘some kind of courage is not endurance of
the soul’ which, again, cannot be both true but can be both false. To suppose that
the notion of contrary subsumes the notion of contradictoriness seems to be in line,
for instance, with Anton 1987; in this way contradictory attributes are just a subset
of contrary attributes, and “inconsistency” may apply to contrary attributes as well,
not only to contradictory ones. When driven to an elenchus, the proponent may be
contemplating an inconsistent set of premises in the sense of contrary premises, a
situation which is not acceptable, but which is not identified as a contradiction.
I do not mean that inconsistency is reducible to contrariness, just that it en
compasses contradictoriness. Back to our logical discussion, assuming ◦(A ∧ B) may
mean, for instance, to assume that A and B are not contraries.
The are lots of misunderstanding, possibly by lack of attention to the relevant lit
erature. In Pietarinen 2002, for instance, when referring to the wellknown Jaskow
ski’s problem A. Pietarinen, perhaps unpremeditatedly, says that: “This problem [of
finding a logic deserving the label name of paraconsistent] has proved elusive thus
far, as the received paraconsistent logics fall short of having a satisfactory semantic
explication.”
Forms of dialectical (and dialogical) games are, of course, played today, and
they can solve informational conflicts and provide new information. In a criminal
investigation, when interviewing suspects, a detective will only know that one of
them is lying if an inconsistency (what we may call a tripartite elenchus) arises.
The reason Hintikka in (2010: 12) tags such useful information as an “illusion” is
disconcerting, for the least:
Perhaps the illusion that paraconsistent logics could tell us something about
the rejection of information is due to an uncertainty about the meaning of
negation in paraconsistent logic.
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WALTER A. CARNIELLI
Centre for Logic, Epistemology and the History of Science – CLE
and Department of Philosophy
State University of Campinas – UNICAMP
P.O. Box 6133
13083970 Campinas, SP
Brazil
walter.carniell@cle.unicamp.br
Notes
1
There are some evidences that Hintikka would agree to this suggestion, which I proposed
during his seminars at UNICAMP in 2008.
Abstract. The Logics of Deontic (In)Consistency (LDI’s) can be considered as the deontic
counterpart of the paraconsistent logics known as Logics of Formal (In)Consistency. This
paper introduces and studies new LDI’s and other paraconsistent deontic logics with different
properties: systems tolerant to contradictory obligations; systems in which contradictory
obligations trivialize; and a bimodal paraconsistent deontic logic combining the features of
previous systems. These logics are used to analyze the wellknown Chisholm’s paradox,
taking profit of the fact that, besides contradictory obligations do not trivialize in LDI’s,
several logical dependencies of classical logic are blocked in the context of LDI’s, allowing to
dissolve the paradox.
Keywords: Paraconsistent logic, deontic logic, deontic paradoxes, chisholm’s paradox, moral
dilemmas, logics of formal inconsistency.
Introduction
in the same manner as classical logic trivializes when a contradiction occurs. This
similarity justify a paraconsistentist approach to deontic paradoxes.
The first paraconsistent deontic system, called C1D , was introduced in da Costa &
Carnielli 1986 with the aim of analyzing moral dilemmas. It is a deontic extension of
da Costa’s logic C1 , being also suitable to the study of deontic paradoxes in general.
The Logics of Deontic (In)Consistency (LDI’s) were firstly introduced in Coniglio
2007, by considering two deontic systems, DmbC and DLFI1, based on two different
LFI’s. It was shown that these systems are appropriate to analyze the wellknown
deontic paradox of Chisholm introduced in Chisholm 1963.
In Peron & Coniglio 2008 two new LDI’s were introduced, SDmbC and BDmbC,
enlarging the possibilities of analysis of Chisholm’s paradox, and in Peron 2009 it
was presented the distinction between LDI’s and deontic LFI’s, among other results.
The present paper extends our previous discussions on the subject, in particular
the analysis of Chisholm’s paradox in this context. Moreover, two new paraconsis
tent deontic systems are introduced, which can be considered, in some sense, as
minimal: DPI, a LDI which is not a LFI, and SDPI, both a LDI and a LFI such that
conflicting obligations trivialize, provided that the involved sentence is deontically
consistent. Concerning Chisholm’s paradox, it is concluded here that the violation of
the Principle of Deontic Consistency is not the unique source of problems in deon
tic paradoxes based on contrarytoduty obligations. Indeed, the rigidity of classical
logic, in which too much sentences are logically identified, originates unnecessary
logical dependencies among the premises of a given information set, and then sev
eral plausible formalizations of the given premises must be discarded. The use of
a richer language based on a more flexible logic allows more translations from the
natural language to the formal one, and so the paradox can vanish. If, in addition,
the Principle of Deontic Consistency is weakened, there are still more possibilities to
avoid the paradox.
The organization of the paper is as follows: in Section 1 the basic notions con
cerning paraconsistency in general and LFI’s in particular are briefly recalled. In
Section 2 it is firstly analyzed the Standard Deontic Logic SDL and then the LDI’s
are introduced, describing succinctly the main systems to be studied in the paper.
Section 3 is devoted to the analysis of Chisholm’s paradox under the perspective of
some systems, namely SDL, DmbC, SDmbC, DPI, SDPI and BDmbC. Finally, Sec
tion 4 concludes with a brief evaluation of what was done in this paper.
Costa 1963). More precisely, in a logical context in which contradictions are possible,
in the sense that a contradiction does not necessarily trivialize, it is possible to define
or to assume as hypothesis inside a formal deduction that an specific sentence, say
α, has classical properties. The classical (or well) behavior of α is another sentence,
¬(α ∧ ¬α), usually denoted by α◦ . In order to simplify the exposition we limit
ourselves to the logic C1 , the first logic in the decreasing hierarchy of paraconsistent
logics (Cn )n≥1 . Being so, in general
α, ¬α 6` β
α, ¬α 6` β
(a) (α), α 0 β
(c) (α), α, ¬α ` β
for every α and β. Given a sentence α, the set
(α) expresses the consistence of
α relative to logic L (and negation ¬). Whenever the set
(p) is a singleton, the
unique element of it will be denoted by ◦p and then the sentence ◦α denotes the
consistency of α, where ◦ is called a consistency operator. By the very definition of
consistency operator, ◦α, α, ¬α ` β for every α and β.
Definition 1.2. The logic mbC is defined over the language ◦, ¬, ∧, ∨, → by means
of the following:
Axiom schemas:
(Ax1) α → (β → α)
(Ax3) α → (β → (α ∧ β))
(Ax4) (α ∧ β) → α
(Ax5) (α ∧ β) → β
(Ax6) α → (α ∨ β)
(Ax7) β → (α ∨ β)
(Ax9) α ∨ (α → β)
(Ax10) α ∨ ¬α
Inference rule:
α α→β
(MP)
β
From now on, the set of sentences defined over the basic language ¬, ∧, ∨, → will
be denoted by For, and the set of sentences of mbC (which is obtained by adding
the unary connective ◦) will be denoted by For ◦ .
It is worth noting that the system defined over For by means of (Ax1)–(Ax9)
and (MP) is the socalled Positive Classical Logic, denoted by PCL. Classical Logic
CL defined over For is obtained from PCL by adding (Ax10) and the “explosion law”
(exp) α → (¬α → β)
Of course a version of CL over For ◦ , called eCL, can be obtained from mbC by
adding the axiom schema ◦α; in this sense CL is a deductive extension of mbC in
which every sentence is consistent (and so (bc1) collapses to (exp)). On the other
hand, ⊥ =d e f ◦α∧(α∧¬α) is a bottom sentence in mbC, that is, ⊥ `mbC β for every
β and so ∼α =d e f (α → ⊥) is a classical negation in mbC. Therefore mbC defined
over the set of sentences For ◦∼ generated by ∼, ◦, ¬, ∧, ∨, → (that is, with classical
negation ∼ as a primitive) can be seen as the conservative extension of CL (now
defined over the language ∼, ∧, ∨, →) obtained by adding axiom schemas (Ax10),
(bc1) and ∼α ↔ (α → ⊥) where, as usual, (α ↔ β) stands for (α → β) ∧ (β → α).
The logic mbC (as most of the LFI’s presented in Carnielli & Marcos 2002 and
Carnielli, Coniglio & Marcos 2007) does not satisfy the replacement property, namely:
for every α, β, ϕ (here, α a` β means that α and β are interderivable, that is,
α ` β and β ` α). For instance, (p ∧ q) is interderivable with (q ∧ p), but ¬(p ∧
q) is not interderivable with ¬(q ∧ p); analogously, ◦(p ∧ q) is not interderivable
with ◦(q ∧ p). This means that ¬ and ◦ are nontruthfunctional connectives and
so semantics is not a trivial issue for mbC (nor for the other LFI’s with nontruth
functional connectives). In Carnielli, Coniglio & Marcos 2007 the following two
valued semantics was proposed for mbC:
Definition 1.3. Let 2 = {0, 1} be a set of truthvalues, where 1 denotes “true” and 0
denotes “false”. A mbCvaluation is a mapping v : For ◦ −→ 2 satisfying the following
clauses:
As usual, we define Γ mbC α iff v(α) = 1 for every mbCvaluation v such that
v(Γ) ⊆ {1}. Thus, the logic mbC is sound and complete for its valuation semantics,
cf. Carnielli, Coniglio & Marcos 2007:
Theorem 1.4. Let Γ ∪ {α} be a set of sentences in For ◦ . Then, Γ `mbC α if and
only if Γ mbC α.
Definition 2.1. The logic SDL is defined over the language O, ¬, ∧, ∨, → by means
of the following:
Axiom schemas:
(Ax1)–(Ax10) from mbC (recall Definition 1.2) plus
Inference rules:
α α→β
(MP)
β
`α
(ONec)
` Oα
From now on, the set of sentences generated by the language O, ¬, ∧, ∨, → will
be denoted by For O .
The usual axiomatizations of SDL depart from the set of axioms formed by the
instances in the deontic language of the classical tautologies (arguably, this is a lazy
and inelegant way to present an axiomatic extension of classical logic) and then
consider, instead of (OE), the axiom schema
(D) Oα → ¬O¬α
(usually called the Principle of Deontic Consistency) and the inference rules (MP)
and (ONec). It is useful and convenient to consider the derived deontic operator
Pα =d e f ¬O¬α (meaning “α is permitted” or “α is permissible”). Thus, (D) can be
interpreted as follows: whatever is obligatory is permitted. Since classically ¬β is
equivalent to β → fα (for any α and β) then (D) can be reformulated as:
stating that conflicting obligations are always false. Moreover, it can be proved that
(OE), (D) and (D*) are equivalent in the presence of classical logic plus (OK),
(ONec) and (MP).
An interesting alternative axiomatization of SDL is proposed in Chellas 1980 by
substituting (OK) and (ONec) by the following:
α→β
(ROM)
Oα → Oβ
(OC) (Oα ∧ Oβ) → O(α ∧ β)
(ON) O>
(OD) ¬O⊥
where > can be taken as a classical tautology, for instance α ∨ ¬α. Indeed, (OD) is
an alternative formulation of (D*), while (ON) and (ONec) are closely related. By
its turn, (OK) can be derived from (ROM) and (OC).
Concerning semantics, and being deontic logics particular cases of modal logics,
the wellknown Kripke semantics of possibleworlds offer an appropriate framework.
Definition 2.2. A (generalized) Kripke struture is a triple 〈W, R, {vw }w∈W 〉 where:
Theorem 2.3. Let KSDL be the class of Kripke strutures such that the accessibility
relation R is serial, that is: for every w ∈ W there exists w 0 ∈ W such that wRw 0 .
Then SDL is sound and complete for KSDL , that is: Γ `SDL α iff Γ K α.
SDL
Now it is convenient to establish a parallel between some metalogical notions
from classical and deontic logics. Recall that in classical logic a contradictory theory
is trivial, and viceversa. On the other hand, as observed in da Costa & Carnielli
1986, if a theory Γ derives conflicting obligations Oα and O¬α in SDL then Γ is
deontically trivial, that is, Γ ` Oβ for every β (and, a posteriori, it is trivial: Γ ` β
for every β). The converse also holds, and so deontic contradictoriness is equivalent
to deontic triviality, transposing to the deontic context a situation from classical logic.
In the previous section it was shown that LFI’s incorporate metalogical notions
such as consistency into the object language. This suggest us that some axioms as
(ON) and (OD) can be treated as metalogical notions which can be internalized
in the object language. Adapting to the modal context the definitions presented in
Section 1, the following definitions are proposed:
Definition 2.4. Let L be a logic defined over the set For O , and let Γ be a theory of
L. Then, Γ is said to be deontically contradictory or deontically conflicting (w.r.t. O) if
Γ ` Oα and Γ ` O¬α for some sentence α. The theory Γ is deontically trivial if Γ `
Oα for every α. If Γ, Oα, O¬α ` Oβ for every α and β then Γ is said to be deontically
explosive. The logic L is deontically nontrivial if it has a deontically nontrivial theory,
and it is deontically explosive if every theory is deontically explosive (equivalently, if
Oα, O¬α ` Oβ for every α and β). The logic L is deontically paraconsistent if it is
deontically nontrivial and deontically nonexplosive.
(Da) (α), Oα 1 Oβ
(Db) (α0 ), O¬α0 1 Oβ 0
for every α and β. Given a sentence α, the set (α) expresses the deontic consistence
of α relative to logic L (and negation ¬ and obligation O). Whenever the set (p) is
a singleton, their unique element will be denoted by p and then the sentence α
denotes the deontic consistency of α, where is called a deontic consistency operator.
The following definition is the deontic version of Definition 1.1
In Coniglio 2007 a deontic dimension was added to mbC, a minimal LFI (recall
Definition 1.2), by appropriately adapting the axiomatization of SDL presented in
Definition 2.1. The resulting system, called DmbC, has the consistency operator ◦ as
primitive (since it is based on mbC) but no interaction between ◦ and O is required.
Definition 2.6. The logic DmbC is defined over the language O, ◦, ¬, ∧, ∨, → by add
ing to mbC (recall Definition 1.2) the following:
Axiom schemas:
Inference rule:
`α
(ONec)
` Oα
Alternatively, DmbC can be defined from the rules and axioms of SDL over For ◦O
(the set of sentences generated by the language O, ◦, ¬, ∧, ∨, →) by replacing (exp)
by (bc1) and (OE) by (OE)◦ , respectively. It can be proved that DmbC is both
a LFI and a LDI. Thus, it has explicit operators for both consistency and deontic
consistency. This fact will be proved in Theorem 2.8 below. The first step is to
define a Kripke semantics for DmbC. This is obtained by modifying appropriately
Definition 2.2 as follows:
Definition 2.7. A Kripke struture for DmbC is a triple 〈W, R, {vw }w∈W 〉 where:
Soundness and completeness of DmbC w.r.t. the semantics above was proved in
Coniglio 2007. As a matter of fact, this result, as well as a similar result for system
SDmbC to be defined below, are particular cases of a general completeness theorem
stated in BuenoSoler 2008 for logics based on LFI’s enjoying the socalled G k,l,m,n
axiom (cf. Carnielli & Pizzi 2008).
Proof. Consider a Kripke model with W = {w}, wRw and vw such that vw (p) =
vw (¬p) = 1 and vw (q) = 0 for propositional letters p 6= q. Then it is easy to see that
p, ¬p 1DmbC q and O p, O¬p 1DmbC Oq, and so DmbC is neither explosive nor
deontically explosive. In particular, DmbC is neither trivial nor deontically trivial.
Using axiom (bc1) it follows that DmbC is a LFI in which the consistency of α is
expressed by ◦α. Finally, let α =d e f O◦α. By (ONec) applied to (bc1), followed
by (OK) and (MP) it follows that DmbC is a LDI in which the deontic consistency
of α is expressed by α.
It is easy to see that by adding to DmbC the axiom schema ◦α it is obtained
a version of SDL over For ◦O , denoted by eSDL. In fact, as proved above for mbC,
axiom (exp) follows in that axiomatic extension of DmbC. On the other hand, by
(ONec), O◦α is a theorem for every α and so (OE) follows.
As observed in Carnielli, Coniglio & Marcos 2007, the inconsistency operator •
can be defined in mbC as •α =d e f ∼◦α in terms of the classical negation ∼, where
∼α =d e f (α → ⊥) (the expected definition •α =de f ¬◦α in terms of the paracon
sistent negation ¬ just works in stronger systems). Inspired by this, it is possible to
define in DmbC an operator for deontic inconsistency as follows:
α =d e f O∼◦α.
Since ◦α, ∼◦α ` ⊥ then O◦α, O∼◦α ` O⊥ and so α, α ` ⊥, by (OE)◦ . This
means that α ` ∼α and α ` ∼α, but the converses are not true (as it can be
easily proved by using Kripke structures). Thus, the analogy between • and is not
complete: •α ≡ ∼◦α and ◦α ≡ ∼ • α, but neither α ≡ ∼α nor α ≡ ∼α.
Observe that deontic consistency is a derived connective in DmbC (as in some other
systems to be defined below). A natural question is: it would be possible to define the
deontic counterpart of mbC, in the sense of being a LDI such that deontic paracon
sistency is expressed by a primitive connective? This logic would be nonexplosive
but without having a consistency connective. In other words, we are looking for a
minimal LDI which is not a LFI.
At this point, we must recall that mbC, the minimal LFI, has just one axiom
for the consistency operator ◦, namely (bc1). By removing that axiom (and by
removing ◦ from the language) it is recovered the interesting paraconsistent logic PI
introduced in Batens 1980.
Definition 2.9. The logic PI is defined over the basic language ¬, ∧, ∨, → as follows:
Axiom schemas: Axioms (Ax1)(Ax10) (recall Definition 1.2)
Inference rule: (MP) (recall Definition 1.2)
Definition 2.10. The logic DPI is defined over the language O, , ¬, ∧, ∨, → by add
ing to PI the following:
Axiom schemas:
Inference rules:
α α→β
(MP)
β
`α
(ONec)
` Oα
Using the usual techniques, it can be proved that DPI is sound and complete
w.r.t. its Kripke semantics.
As observed in Carnielli & Marcos 2002, the logic PI is not a LFI and the same
applies to DPI. On the other hand, by using Kripke structures it is easy to see that DPI
is deontically paraconsistent, being obviously a LDI. So, the following result follows:
The semantics for DPI deserves some comments. Firstly, it should be observed
that it is possible to have a trivial valuation vt rue for PI such that vt rue (α) = 1 for
every α ∈ For. This is the semantical counterpart of the fact that PI is not finitely
trivializable, and so there is no bottom formula, that is, a sentence ⊥ such that
⊥ `PI α for every α. Being so, it would be expected that its deontic extension DPI
should maintain this feature and so it would be possible to satisfy Oα for every α.
This is why the accessibility relation of its Kripke frames is not necessarily serial:
it is possible to have an isolated world w in which vw (α) = 1 (and, in particular,
vw (Oα) = 1) for every α ∈ For O .
The lack of a bottom formula (and so the absence of a consistency operator)
prevents the definition of a strong (that is, a explosive) negation ∼ in both PI and
DPI. Thus, the logic DPI is a relatively weak logic system.
From the last analysis, it seems that the logic DPI could be strengthened. A stronger
deontic extension of PI is possible, closer to SDL, by allowing logical explosion from
conflicting, deontically consistent obligations; in particular, this would allow the
definition of a bottom formula ⊥. It is enough to slightly modify DPI as follows:
The Kripke semantics for SDPI consists of the Kripke structures of DPI satisfying
the following clause:
Moreover (and this is a general fact of paraconsistent logics having a bottom for
mula), SDPI is a LFI such that the consistency operator is defined à la da Costa as
follows: ◦α =d e f (α ∧ ¬α) → ⊥. That is, ◦α = ∼(α ∧ ¬α).
Theorem 2.13. SDPI is both a LFI and a LDI. Moreover, conflicting obligations
involving a deontically consistent sentence trivialize.
This shows that this system has a reasonable expressive power, despite being
based on a LFI weaker than mbC. Arguably, SDPI could be considered as the mini
mal paraconsistent version of SDL or, more precisely, of eSDL∗ , the version of SDL
over For O obtained from SDPI by adding the axiom schema α. As expected, the
accessibility relation of any Kripke structure for eSDL∗ must be serial.
To finalize, it can be observed that while DmbC and SDPI are both LFI’s and
LDI’s, they are different in nature. While the former has the consistency operator ◦
as a primitive and the deontic consistency operator is derived, the latter follows the
opposite way: the deontic operator is primitive, and the consistency operator is
derived.
Now we shall briefly analyze C1D . As mentioned above, C1D is obtained from C1
by adding some deontic axioms. Recall that C1 is defined over the basic language
For (where α◦ =d e f ¬(α ∧ ¬α)) by means of rule (MP), axioms (Ax1)(Ax10) (see
Definition 1.2) and:
The last three axioms state that consistency is “propagated” through the connec
tives (it can be proved that α◦ → (¬α)◦ ). Different to mbC, the classical negation is
defined as ∼α =d e f ¬α ∧ α◦ .
Definition 2.14. The logic C1D is defined over language For O by adding to C1 the
following:
Axiom schemas:
(OD) Oα → ∼O∼α
(ca4) α◦ → (Oα)◦
Inference rule:
`α
(ONec)
` Oα
Despite being formally analogous to axiom (D) of SDL, axiom (OD) is equiva
lent to (OE)◦ of DmbC, at it can be easily proved. Thus, the conception of C1D is
close to that of DmbC. It could be said that the modal extension of C1 producing C1D
is in essence the same modal extension of mbC producing DmbC: the only additional
modal axiom is (ca4), concerning the preservation of consistency through the op
erator O. But this makes sense, because the preservation of consistency through
the connectives is a general principle of C1 . By defining deontic consistency as
α =d e f O(α◦ ), it can be proved the following:
The next step is the presentation of deontic systems which are LFI’s but are not LDI’s.
This is the case of SDmbC and BDmbC, introduced in (Peron & Coniglio 2008). As
we shall see, the former is a paraconsistent logic deontically explosive; the latter is
a bimodal deontic system, being deontically explosive with respect to one modality,
and deontically paraconsistent with respect to the other.
Definition 2.16. The logic SDmbC is defined over For ◦O by replacing in DmbC
(recall Definition 2.6) axiom (OE)◦ by
Theorem 2.17.
(i) SDmbC is a LFI.
(ii) SDmbC is deontically explosive and so it is not a LDI.
Theorem 2.18. SDmbC is sound and complete with respect to its Kripke semantics.
Another interesting feature of SDmbC is that the strong negation ∼ and the
paraconsistent negation ¬ collapse within the scope of the deontic operator.
The systems DmbC and SDmbC can be interesting in the analysis of deontic para
doxes, as we shall see in the next section. However, a logic combining both sys
tems can enrich this analysis. Such a logic, called BDmbC, is obtained by combining
DmbC and SDmbC, in a way that one deontic operator behaves as in DmbC, whereas
the other behaves as in SDmbC.
The idea of considering paraconsistent bimodal deontic logics is not new. In
Puga, da Costa & Carnielli 1988 a bimodal system defined over C1 called C1 having
a deontic operator O and an alethic operator was presented. Some interactions
between both operators where forced, namely Oα → ◊α (where, as usual, ◊α =de f
¬¬α is the “possibility” operator) and α → Oα. This principles are based on
ideas by Kant and Hintikka, respectively. Since α → α is an axiom of C1 then this
logic is both a LFI and a LDI with respect to both modalities, where consistency and
alethic consistency of α are expressed by the same sentence, namely α◦ ; on the other
hand, the deontic consistency of α is expressed by O(α◦ ).
Our proposal, however, is different, by several reasons. On the one hand, both
modalities of BDmbC are deontic, in contrast to C1 in which one modality is alethic.
On the other hand, BDmbC is deontically explosive with respect to one modality and
deontically paraconsistent with respect to the other, in contrast to C1 in which both
modalities are not explosive, as mentioned above.
Definition 2.20. The logic BDmbC – Bimodal Deontic mbC – is defined in the set
For ◦OO of sentences generated by O, O, ◦, ¬, ∧, ∨, → by adding to mbC the follow
ing:
Axiom schemas:
(OK) O(α → β) → (Oα → Oβ)
(BA) Oα → Oα
Inference rules:
`α
(ONEC)
` Oα
`α
(ONEC)
` Oα
Principia 13(3): 299–326 (2009).
A Paraconsistentist Approach to Chisholm’s Paradox 317
Theorem 2.21.
(i) BDmbC is a LFI.
(ii) BDmbC is a LDI with respect to O.
(iii) BDmbC is deontically explosive with respect to O and so it is not a LDI with
respect to O.
As expected, the semantics for BDmbC is given by Kripke structures having two
accessibility relations, one for each modality. In details:
Definition 2.22. A Kripke structure for BDmbC is a tuple 〈W, R, R, {vw }w∈W 〉 where:
3. R ⊆ R;
The proof of the completeness of BDmbC with respect to its Kripke semantics
can be found in Peron 2009. Since in BDmbC the operator Oα behaves as in DmbC,
as long as O has the same behavior as the deontic operator of SDmbC, it is easy to
prove (by semantical means) the following result:
3. Chisholm’s Paradox
One of the first deontic paradoxes was proposed in Chisholm 1963. The follow
ing formulation of it was given in Åqvist 2002.
Consider the set C formed by the following sentences:
Clearly some of the sets above are not appropriate because some logical depen
dencies are present. This is exactly the paradoxical aspect of the set C , because
it is consistent and the sentences are logically independent. Now we will analyze
Chisholm’s paradox in some of the deontic systems defined above.
Then, (2) and (4) are logically dependent in Γ1.4 ; (1) and (3) are logically dependent
in Γ3.2 ; by its turn, (1) and (3), on the one hand, and (2) and (4), on the other, are
logically dependent in Γ4.4 .
So, the unique alternative in SDL is Γ2.2 . But then OB follows by (MP) between
(3) and (4). On the other hand, `SDL O(¬A → ¬B) → (O¬A → O¬B) and so,
by (MP) two times it follows O¬B. That is, the set Γ2.2 is logically trivial in SDL,
arriving so to a paradox.
Moreover, by using Kripke structures it is easy to see that the sentences in Γ1.1 , Γ1.2 ,
Γ1.3 and Γ1.4 are logically independent in DmbC. The independence of the premises
in Γ2.1 , Γ2.2 , Γ3.1 , Γ4.1 and Γ4.2 is obtained by analogous arguments. By (OK) and
(MP), OB is derived from Γ1. j (for 1 ≤ j ≤ 4) and also from Γ2.1 and Γ2.2 . By a
similar argument, O¬B is derived from Γi. j (for i. j = 2.1, 2.2, 3.1). This means that
Γ2.1 and Γ2.2 are deontically contradictory.
Concerning the set Γ3.2 , note that `DmbC ∼A → (A → B) and then, by (ONec)
and (OK) there is a dependence between (1) and (3). Then, this set cannot be used
for the analysis. By the same reason the sets Γ4.3 and Γ4.4 must be discarded.
Altogether, there are nine sets logically independent in DmbC formalizing C and
so being potentially useful for the analysis of Chisholm’s paradox, in contrast to SDL
which have just one. Remarkably, none of them are logically trivial and so the nine
sets are relevant for the analysis. It is easy to prove by using Kripke structures that
Γi. j does not deduce O¬B for i. j = 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 4.1, 4.2. By its turn, Γi. j does
not deduce OB for i. j = 3.1, 4.1, 4.2. Thus, all these sets do not infer conflicting
obligations. Finally, Γi. j deduce conflicting obligations for i. j = 2.1, 2.2, but there is
no deontic explosion (and so there is no logical explosion).
Summarizing, in DmbC we have the following scenarios for Chisholm’s paradox:
Γi. j `DmbC OB but Γi. j 0DmbC O¬B for i. j = 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4
Γi. j `DmbC OB, O¬B without trivializing deontically, for i. j = 2.1, 2.2
That is, DmbC has enough expressive power to encompass all the possible situa
tions, namely:
• just OB is derived;
• both OB and O¬B are derived, without having deontic explosion (and so,
without trivializing);
and so Γ0.3 and Γ0.4 are discarded because there are logical dependencies among
the premises. On the other hand, Γ0.2 trivializes in SDmbC, because this system
does not accept conflicting obligations. Thus, the only admissible set is Γ0.1 which
satisfies the following:
That is, Chisholm’s paradox can again be avoided, producing the expected result:
John has to marry Suzy Mae.
• just OB is derived;
• OB (and so OB) and O¬B are derived, without having deontic explosion;
3.6. Summarizing
To summarize, all the plausible answers to the question “Should John marry Suzy
Mae?” are obtained in DmbC, DPI and SDPI. In the case of BDmbC, there are still
more variants for the answers (even the logical explosion can be attained), as shown
above. On the other hand, SDmbC produces just one answer, the intuitively expected
one. In contrast, SDL just produces logical explosion (or logical dependencies).
The main point of our analysis lies in the fact that Chisholm’s paradox is not ex
clusively based on the violation of the Principle of Deontic Consistency as presented
frequently in the literature (this position is defended, for instance, in (Prakken &
Sergot 1994)). The analysis above suggests that the logical dependence between
the premises in C (dependency arising because of the use of classical logic) plays
an important role. Thus, in SDmbC the principle of deontic explosion is maintained
while rejecting the principle of explosion, and then it is possible to avoid the para
dox. That is, by eliminating some logical dependencies typical of classical logic, the
paradox vanishes. In the case of DmbC, DPI and SDPI, both principles of explo
sion are weakened and so there are more possibilities to avoid the paradox. Finally,
BDmbC combines DmbC and SDmbC, obtaining still more solutions to the paradox
by combination of its deontic operators.
4. Final remarks
deontic paradoxes, as those presented in Prakken & Sergot 1994, Prakken & Sergot
1997 and Carmo & Jones 1997.
Clearly, the research on paraconsistent deontic logic and deontic paradoxes has
several possibilities of further development. We hope that our discussion can con
tribute to some extent to the analysis of the interesting question of deontic paradoxes
and related areas.1
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Chisholm aproveitandose do fato de que, além que as obrigações contraditórias não triviali
zam nas LDI’s, varias das dependências lógicas da lógica clássica são bloqueadas no contexto
das LDI’s, permitindo assim dissolver o paradoxo.
Notes
1
The first author was supported by an individual research grant from The National Council
for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), process #304090/20085.
Abstract. The paper critically examines an unpopular line of Frege’s view on numbers in
the Foundations of Arithmetic. According to this view, which analyzes numbers in terms of
properties and not in terms of extensions, numbers are properties of concepts vs. properties
of objects. The latter view is held by Mill and is famously criticized in the Foundations.
I argue that on the property account numbers cannot only be properties of concepts but
they also have to be properties of objects. My main argument rests on purely metaphysical
grounds. It stems from the motivation that were numbers only properties of concepts we
would not have been able to explain mathematical truths about the physical world or those
truths would have been miraculous. On pains that we do have mathematical truths about
the physical world that are not miraculous we cannot agree with Frege’s property line about
the metaphysical nature of numbers.
Frege’s view of the nature of numbers is perhaps the most influential one in 20 th cen
tury philosophy of mathematics, both in its richness and in the difficulties it raises
(Frege 1884). In metaphysics it is widely accepted that Frege has refuted Mill’s view
on numbers as properties of objects as an untenable one (cf. Mill 1874). Attempts
to defend reformulated versions of Mill’s view are extremely rare: Philip Kitcher’s
recent one is perhaps the most notable (Kitcher 1998). And yet even Kitcher concen
trates exclusively on the epistemic side of Mill’s view. This side is all too often taken
together with, and throws shadow over, Mill’s metaphysical claim about the numbers
as properties. Among the metaphysical attempts is the Lambros’ modest view that
“there are no compelling reasons why number words cannot be thought of as predi
cates of objects” (Lambros 1976, 381). Lambros’ arguments are logically interesting
and I take them as appealing, but his main aim is to vindicate the predicative use of
number words, and where he draws metaphysical conclusions (Lambros 1976, 384–
5) they stem from a prevailing logical motivation rather than from a metaphysical
one per se. In this brief paper I will offer metaphysical reasons for accepting within
the property line view of the nature of numbers that, Millean or not, a conception
of numbers as properties of objects is not merely an acceptable but a necessary one.
This perhaps unexpected thesis is suggested as one that does not contradict but that
actually complements the reading of Frege’s view of numbers in The Foundations of
Arithmetic, according to which numbers are not simply selfsubsistent objects but
also properties of concepts. The paper certainly does not attempt the difficult task
of developing this account; rather, it shows metaphysical reasons why it needs to be
developed.
Famously, Frege argued that (1) numbers are selfsubsistent objects that fall as
extensions under concepts about equinumerosity (in paragraphs such as #57 and
#69–#74 in the Foundations) but he also argued that (2) numbers are properties
of concepts (in paragraphs such as #46). It is more or less uncontroversial that the
leading view is (1) and yet (2) is what mainly stays behind Frege’s criticism of Mill
(in paragraphs as #8, #21–#25). Also, it is (2) which captures best our numerically
predicative intuition for expressions like “The apples in the basket are five” (P). The
fact that we could, following Frege, translate such expressions into identities like
“The number of apples in the basket = five” (Pi ) does not annihilate the previous
fact that predicative expressions like P are wellformed and more often used than
their Pi type translations as identities. Also, and most importantly for the purposes of
science, it is Ptype expressions, and not Pi type expressions, that capture the core of
the applied mathematical language. The claim in The Foundations that Frege would
not give up is the ontological thesis (1) and it is controversial whether he actually
held (2), which is maintained simultaneously in the book, after he came up with
(1).1 What is also controversial is whether both claims could actually be maintained
together. My purpose is not to discuss these controversies but to examine the prop
erty line of Frege’s theses and especially in connection with applied mathematical
expressions like the those in #70.
Let us assume that Frege’s reading that numbers are not properties of objects
is correct and that, were they properties of anything at all, numbers would have
been solely and only properties of concepts (as he is explicit in #46). In accordance
with the context principle the main function of concepts within propositions is to
say something meaningful and to contribute to propositional truths. To take Frege’s
well known example, let us imagine that there are (only) 52 cards on the table,
in their original unopened pack (let us denote this state of affairs “S”). We cannot
just ask the question “How many? (Q)” for we lack the sortal concept that would
determine the number of what we are inquiring about: it might be the number of
packs, the number of cards, the number of spots on the table, the number of spades,
the number of whatever. So let us supply a sortal concept, say “cards”, and ask
our question, which takes the form of “How many cards are there on the table?”
Now the question is correctly formulated and points to a specific, sorted state of
affairs. The main semantic use of this and all similar propositions is to reach for
their truth or falsity, among other things and through their being meaningful in the
first place. The answer, given the concrete state of affairs, is “There are 52 cards
on the table” (P). Is this a correct answer? It seems so. If we deny that P is
meaningful we would harm the conception of sortal concept as carriers of numbers
as properties. If we deny that it is true we would again harm the same conception
as semantically useless, which would contrast with the striking intuitiveness and
precision of mathematical truths. It seems then that we are compelled to accept that
P is both meaningful and true. The problem, however, with this is that P attests not
merely a fact about the state of affairs S but attests a numerical fact about S. That is,
it says not simply that there are cards on the table but that there are fifty two cards
on the table. Did something change in S between the reformulation of Q into P? It
obviously did not. Were there 52 cards on the table before we have even bothered
to ask the question? There certainly were. Are there 97 cards on the table given S?
There certainly are not. If there were a Q answer to the Q question SQ would have
stayed exactly the same as S P , whatever the semantic value of the Q answer. This
and similar counterfactual differences in S are sufficiently interesting in order to be
accounted for semantically, and numerically capturing the difference seems to be the
most suitable and the most exhaustive way. Thus, there seem to be “reasons” in S
that on the one hand contribute to the meaning of P and on the other hand, that
sufficiently strongly participate in the truth of P. We can distinguish between two
different problems for Frege here:
The no change problem claims that whatever sortal question we formulate and ask
S remains the same on the set of all possible reading of S and especially on a numer
ical reading, the one that seems to be telling something precisely true about S after
the sortal question is asked. We might well have chosen any of the other possible
questions “How many decks are on the table?”, “How many packs are there on the
table?”, “How many Spades are there on the table?” and for every single one of
them the state of affairs S that would participate in the delivery of the true answer
proposition would remain physically unchanged. The answers would contain, of
course, different unions of sortal concepts and numbers (one deck, one pack, thir
teen Spades) but what is there on the table that makes those at least partially true
does not change on any reasonable understanding of “change”. Frege sees and in a
convincing manner the numbers coming from our conceptually sorted expressions.
And we certainly do need sortal concepts to identify what we are inquiring about.
But this pertains more to our knowledge of what it is a number of than to the nature
of a number of per se: the first one is a cognitive attitude and the second one is a
metaphysical.
To inquire about the very nature of numbers is not to inquire about our knowl
edge of this nature: it is rather to ask a metaphysical question. Therefore, what
Frege manages to do in a most brilliant way is to give the epistemicsemantic side of
the problem. Where he commits a categorical mistake is when he reformulates the
epistemic part as a metaphysically exhaustive one. Even if it is true that numbers are
properties of the sortal concepts that serve to identify them, from this it does not fol
low that numbers are the only properties of sortal concepts. This is highly nontrivial
and is seen best in “applied cases”, typical for natural sciences. This leads us to the
second problem, the “participation problem”.
Whatever numbers are, how could we possibly have numerically true proposi
tions about, say, the physical world, without the physical world is being numerically
responsible for these truths? If this were indeed the case (and it would have been
completely arbitrary whether there are 52 cards on the table or not, one electron
in the hydrogen atom or not) the very truth of the propositions would not have
exceeded a value beyond an arbitrary one. There are at least two reasons that ratio
nally stop us from accepting this. The first one is the mindboggling strength of pure
mathematical truths and the second one, which ties it with things like the external
world, is what Wigner famously called “unreasonable effectiveness of (pure) math
ematics in naturals science” (Wigner 1960: 222). In cases of sufficiently successful
physical theories, like the Standard model of Quantum Mechanics and General The
ory of Relativity, the mathematical success of those theories is difficult to even com
prehend properly. The parallelism between the pure truths of mathematics and the
applied truths of our best scientific theories could not simply be a result of an arbi
trary choice of a particular set of special concepts. There must be something in what
the applied mathematical theories are actually about in order for this parallelism to
take place and not some other. And the most simple metaphysical answer seems
to be that numbers are both properties of sortal concepts and things those concepts
(within propositions) are about. On this scenario we both keep our numerically
predicative intuitions for typical applied mathematical expressions and have at our
disposal an account on which the success of pure mathematics in natural sciences
is not miraculous anymore and is reduced to spelling out the proper coordination
between one and the same properties, being possessed by different metaphysical
carriers.
For Frege it is not sufficient that numbers are properties of concepts. He needs
to establish a relation between that concepts that would preserve their numerosity
in a meaningful way and this relation should be logical too. His insight is the notion
of equinumerosity. Its function is crucial: within a principle (Hume’s Principle) it
delivers nothing less than the identity of numbers:
If numbers are taken to be only properties of concepts, then the relation between
them, equinumerosity, has to be a relation only between concepts too. Yet, obvi
ously, numerical truths seem to hold not just between logical entities but for, fol
lowing Frege, things concepts are about, and therefore Frege needs to go beyond
mere conceptual equinumerosity. In fact, he goes in a way even further. Conceptual
equinumerosity is arrived at through the very notion of conceptual extension. We are
presented with the following metaphysical picture: numbers receive their identity if
and only if the concepts that bear them (while nothing else but concepts is able to
bear them) are equinumerous. The concepts are equinumerous if and only if there
is a onetoone correspondence between the objects which fall (as their extensions)
under them. The onetoone correspondence is available, in Frege’s example with
knives and plates, through a “one” to “one” “correlation” which, in this particular
case, is made possible through a sort of “spatial relationship”. Besides the notion of
equality (of a numerical sort, nevertheless) the notion of being numerised is what is
precious in the notion of equinumerosity. For in order to be capable to participate
in a relation of equinumerosity the relata must be able to be of such a kind that
something in them metaphysically allows an equality with respect to numerosity to
be evaluated in the first place. For it is equality with respect to numerosity that deliv
ers the crucial phenomenon of equinumerosity. The metaphysical sequence, which
Frege depicts, must therefore demonstrate how the very notion of numerosity, the
one which is at the heart of equality within the central notion of equinumerosity,
emerges in the first place. A critical inquiry must then investigate the metaphysical
transfer from the source of the notion, whatever this turns out to be, to the notion
of equinumerosity.
The first transfer is the transition from the notion of onetoone correspondence
to that of equinumerosity. This is more or less unproblematic: being one is the
same as being of the number one and thus as being of a certain number (in this
case one). The notion of numerosity is clearly preserved so the numerical transition
faces no problem. In the above metaphysical setting, however, it is not at all obvious
why numerosity should not be comprehended and rationally approached in terms of
properties. For it is clear that it is not an object that is allegedly being carried from
the source of whatever stays behind the notion of numerosity as it participates in
Frege’s central notion of equinumerosity. A property would do the job much more
naturally. The numerosity meant here is certainly not merely a linguistic one: it is
not a rudimentary conceptual discharge following purely linguistic recognition of the
concept of numerosity within the higher complex order concept of equinumerosity.
The numerosity inquired about here is the one that makes possible the very meta
physical ability of being capable of being a one in the first place. For in only such a
way an entity could be related to another entity, whatever their metaphysical status
might be, within the onetoone correspondence relation, the relation that delivers
equinumerosity.
There is another level of transition too, however, which is of a different meta
physical order: in The Foundations equinumerosity is a relation between concepts,
but the relation of onetoone correspondence is between objects that fall under con
cepts. The metaphysical distinction between concepts and objects is stressed in a
quite straightforward way: we are supposed to reach equinumerosity of concepts
from the numerosity stance of objects. This metaphysical level of transition is not so
clear as the purely numerical one. But as far as Frege is concerned, concepts being
objects is not so problematic either. What is more interesting is the next step: the
metaphysical level of numerosity that is prior to onetoone correspondence. This
level should be a numerical source level for onetoone correspondence and thus
would be of utmost metaphysical interest. In #70 Frege is quite clear about this
level: it is the level of the physical entities knives and plates and not merely the level
of the concepts “knives” and “plates”. For the waiter is not putting the concept “knife”
spatially next to the concept “plate” following some sort of a “spatial relationship”;
such relationship could not exist among concepts. The waiter has not to count real
physical knives and plates and again not their concepts. Thus the entities that have
to be in a onetoone correspondence are from the level inhabited by the physical
objects “knives” and “plates”. The last sentence in the quotation from #70 is that
“Plates and knives are thus correlated one by one (my italics)”. The metaphysical
level is defined as clearly as it could be. It is plain that the things to be onetoone
corresponded are classical physical entities.2 Yet, the notion of numerosity exists
quite alive here as well: the notion of “one” is a numerically fullblooded notion.
And it is metaphysically crucial. For it delivers what is to be preserved through the
transitions until it reaches equinumerosity: numerosity itself. Knives and plates are
not just “spatially ordered” but they are also numerically individuated, that is, they
are of some number and this number in every case of an individual entity as “knife”
and “plate” is suspiciously difficult to distinguish from the natural number one. Only
in virtue of this could a knife and a plate be onetoone, that is, due to their being
numerically individuated in the most primitive metaphysical way, numerically or
dered with respect to each other in some sort of way. And the number one seems to
stay in relation to the entities as a property of theirs in no lesser way as it stays as
a property of a Fregean concept. No onetoone correspondence is conceivable with
no oneness being present. And spatial relationship, being a geometrical relation
ship, might deliver a numerical individuation, that is, it might individuate an entity
in such a way that it becomes rationally approachable with respect to its metaphys
ical status as one entity. But it is only in virtue of the entity being one entity that it
could participate in a onetoone correspondence relation and not merely in virtue
of its being 3 centimetres on the right of some other entity.
Thus, a notion of numerosity seems to be present in the bottom Fregean meta
physical level as well. And here the problem rises its ugly head, for this being the
last metaphysical level in the story at hand, there is no other possible metaphysi
cal source to take numerosity from. And if numerosity is present in all metaphysical
levels this means that we simply track a property of the inhabitants of all those meta
physical levels, a property they all share as common. Yet, as it was stressed above,
not all of those inhabitants are concepts. Knives and plates are physical entities and
such entities are of metaphysically different category. This being the case, however,
numbers could not be just properties of concepts for they appear to be as much prop
erties of physical (as any other objects of course too: and primarily abstract objects)
entities as properties of concepts. Freges’s metaphysical theory about numbers is in
this aspect incomplete and in its incompleteness it fails. In order for a onetoone
correspondence to be possible there have to be “ones” beforehand available. The
“ones” do not somehow emerge in virtue of correspondence and so do not receive
their numerical individuation by merely being put onetoone. The “ones” make pos
sible the onetoonecorrespondence in the first place. There does not seem to be a
meaningful way of a talk about onetoone correspondence unless the elements put
in such a correspondence are independent of the relation of numerical individua
tion; the one that comes along with, perhaps, their standard property individuation.
Therefore, conceptual onetoone correspondence could not serve as a way to de
fine numerosity, the heavy burden Frege puts on it in the Foundations of Arithmetic.
Because numerosity is already at hand, the conceptual onetoone correspondence
simply inputs already numerically individuated metaphysical elements. The effect
of this is far reaching – no definition of numerosity could succeed if based on the
exposed as nonprimitive notion of conceptual onetoone correspondence.
Equinumerosity delivers no other kind of identity but the numerical identity of
concepts: two concepts are equinumerous if and only if it is possible to coordinate
the objects that “fall” under them in such a way so that they are related in the
are two by two coordinated entities while there are actually not and there is just
one A entity on the one side put in onetotwo correspondence with two B entities.
This case might be reached for when an aggregate put on the table sticks to another
already on the table and she is not aware of this: given that the most intuitive
conditions of individuations of objects of coordination are not the sticky elements of
the aggregates but the aggregates themselves (we could complicate the experiment
even more by eliminating spatial individuation of separate elements at all by making
them completely lose the element identity they have from the time in the basket but
this does not seem necessary for the point).
An immediate objection might argue that the basket situation shows nothing
above a merely epistemic problem and thus it is not a problem for metaphysics.
Such objection, nevertheless, fails. For obviously there is an epistemic component in
the thought experiment and at that one that does not look comfortable for Frege’s a
priori attitude. But the metaphysical point is the central one: how could the oneto
one correspondence be numerically independent from the properties of the objects
if it is a correct correspondence? How do we know that the concept “knife” and
the concept “plate” are equinumerous in Frege’s illustration from #70 if there is one
knife on the table and 5 plates? Obviously there is no onetoone correspondence
between the knives and the plates. But how do we know that? Besides the epistemic
story, which in the case of properties of physical objects would be one or another
version of the contemporary empiricism, such as the one recently being offered by
Philip Kitcher and particularly for mathematical cases, there should be something in
the domain of observation that allows for the correct participation of the objects in
the rational onetoone correspondence. And this is metaphysical enough.
Another objection might stem from the power of rationality. What if the basket
case is not possible without concepts? What if the agent could not and actually does
not coordinate the A aggregates and the B aggregates if she does not have the rele
vant concept tied in proper propositional relations? This objection does not manage
to deliver the goods too. We can imagine an inanimate machine, not even a robot,
which by random repetition performs the same coordination. It has neither concepts
nor what we would call “rationality”. We would have the same physical result. In
this case the question about the relevance of the entity individuation of the randomly
coordinated aggregates would matter, of course, not for the machine, which is not a
rational agent, but for any rational agent, who is interested in the problem. Is the
result of the machine coordination relevant for such cases? Well, when entertained
by a rational agent who attempts to define a onetoone correspondence between
the As and Bs this is a most relevant result. And an agent who wishes to clarify the
subject sufficiently well could not allow herself to ignore such cases. We should be
philosophically interested about such cases as if they were attempted as onetoone
coordinated. Merely ignoring the case as irrelevant would not help much.
Similar illustrations show that the physical portion of the coordination is not
merely dispensable with but necessary for Frege’s extension conception. For all sci
entific knowledge which deals with the physical world needs physical objects, the
same ones which in virtue of being an extension of the concepts to be equinumer
ous, need to be equinumerous as well. And in failed coordinating cases like the
above basket case, even if we form propositions about the coordination it would be
a coordination that would not be true by not being isomorphic to the primitive struc
ture of the natural numbers. For applied mathematical cases, the physical portion of
the coordination, that is, to use Frege’s wording, the physical portion of the oneto
one correspondence, is a necessary part which is not linguistic. And for successful
cases like the one of knives and plates, we obviously need something in the physical
world that would allow us to get the rational coordination right too. This something
has the heavy responsibility to deliver the physical conditions of the possibility to
physically individuate an entity that could physically and rationally participate in a
onetoone correspondence. The best candidate for such “something” is most suit
ably captured in terms of the familiar numerical properties, not so different from the
ones put forward by Mill in The System of Logic and criticized somewhat hasty by
Frege in The Foundations.
The extension portion of Frege’s famous view on the nature of numbers proved
to be untenable in view of the Russell’s paradox or, in the best possible scenario,
proved to be in a need of heavy modifications in order to become vital. The property
portion is a separate case. Thoughts in terms of properties are intimately connected
with quantitative expressions and numerical ones in particular. On the suggested
above account the property portion of Frege’s view is accepted and complemented,
unexpectedly, with a neoMillean sort of view according to which numbers are also
properties of objects, be they classical physical entities or more exotic objects like
abstract ones. The truths of applied mathematics thus need not be miracles any
more. In truthful natural scientific cases we will have a successful match between a
set of conceptual properties SC and a set of object properties SO . The mapping is a
task for the philosophy of science but by no means a miraculous one. History of Phi
losophy of Science shows that from Reichenbach’s famous principles of coordination
to Michael Friedman’s contemporary account of constitutive a priori principles there
are nonmiraculous positions struggling to spell out the coordination. Together with
prevailing naturalist doctrines like the neoMillean one of Philip Kitcher of applied
mathematical truths they shape a significantly rich body of philosophical choices,
which could now be metaphysically shown to be internally coherent given the now
common metaphysical account of mathematical properties as belonging both to the
abstract and the physical domains.3
References
Frege, G. 1884. Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik. (References to the paragraphs of this work
are to the English translation, The Foundations of Arithmetic, translated by J. L. Austin,
2nd rev. edition, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1980.)
Kitcher, P. 1998. Mathematics and the Naturalist Tradition. In J. Skorupski (ed.) The Cam
bridge Companion to Mill. New York: Cambrigde University Press.
Lambros, C. 1976. Are Numbers Properties of Objects. Philosophical Studies 29(6): 381–9.
Mendelsohn, R. 1989. On an Alleged problem for Frege’s account of number. Philosophical
Studies 56: 193–7.
Mill, J. S. 1874. A System of Logic. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Minogue, B. 1977. Numbers, Properties, and Frege. Philosophical Studies 31: 423–7.
Wigner, E. 1967. The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences. In
his Symmetries and Reflections. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, p. 222–37.
B ORIS D. GROZDANOFF
Marie Curie Research Fellow
Philosophy Department
Wolfson College
University of Oxford, UK
boris.grozdanoff@philosophy.ox.ac.uk
grozdanoff@gmail.com
website: boris.sofiafilm.com
Resumo. Este artigo examina criticamente uma linha impopular da concepção fregeana
de número nos Fundamentos da aritmética. Segundo essa concepção, que analisa números
em termos de propriedades e não em termos de extensões, números são propriedades de
conceitos vs. propriedades de objetos. Essa última concepção é sustentada por Mill e cele
bremente criticada nos Fundamentos. Sustento que na explicação de propriedade os números
não podem somente ser propriedades de conceitos mas também têm que ser propriedades de
objetos. Meu argumento principal baseiase em razões puramente metafísicas. Originase da
motivação de que, se números fossem somente propriedades de conceitos, ou não seríamos
capazes de explicar verdades matemáticas sobre o mundo físico ou essas verdades seriam
milagrosas. Considerando que de fato temos verdades matemáticas sobre o mundo físico
que não são milagrosas, não podemos concordar com a concepção de propriedade de Frege
acerca da natureza metafísica dos números.
Notes
1
For a discussion on the controversy see Minogue 1977, 423–7 and Mendelsohn 1989, 193–
7.
2
A knife is metaphysically possible only as one knife. The very term “knife”, when it refers
to the real physical object “knife”, is meaningful only if it denotes something numerically
individuated. An entity comes with its numerical individuation.
3
This paper has been written while I was a Marie Curie IEF Fellow at the University of
Oxford and all the help of the EC is gratefully acknowledged.
0. Background
The letters a, b, c are used as variables for the elements of an arbitrary lattice L
with ordering . The join and meet operations of L are represented by + and ·
respectively, and the unit and zero elements (if these elements exist) by > and ⊥
respectively. The symbols + and = are used also for operations in some partially
ordered semigroup with unit, the nonnegative real numbers unless otherwise stated,
which is the space of values for two functions d and µ defined on L. There should
not be any danger of confusion between the different uses of these symbols.
We first present the three axiom systems A, B, C already mentioned. The axioms
of A are:
where in (A1), which is a scheme of axioms, the term ϕc is identical with the term
ϕa except perhaps for containing c at one or more places at which ϕa contains a.
The axioms of B are:
This system of axioms (B1 is just the triangle inequality) derives from Theorem 1
of Chapter X of Birkhoff (1967). Note that the definition (B0) of µ in terms of d
is identical with (A0). C is a familiar system of axioms for a measure µ. The term
a 4 c in the definition (C0) of d in terms of µ is the Boolean symmetric difference
(exclusive disjunction) a · c 0 + c · a0 of a and c.
If the lattice L is a Boolean algebra, the systems A, B, and C are logically equiv
alent (Miller 1984). In § 3 we shall add a fourth equivalent system B\ , like B but
somewhat more transparent.
2. Degrees of Diversity
The axiom systems B and C need no immediate discussion, but something must be
said about A. In elementary logic the relation of identity or equality is standardly
introduced by the axioms
(E0) b = b
(E1) a = c ∧ Φa ⇒ Φc,
(E2) b 6= b ⇔ O
(E3) a 6= c ∨ ¬Φa ⇐ ¬Φc.
In the case of algebraic languages, in which all atomic formulas are identities, the
second principle (E3), the principle of the diversity of discernibles, may be rendered
in one of the forms
(E4) a 6= c ∨ ϕa 6= ψa ⇐ ϕc 6= ψc,
(E5) a 6= c ∨ ϕa 6= b ⇐ ϕc 6= b,
where ϕa and ψa are terms perhaps involving a and the conventions on substitu
tion are as before. In general these statements are not logically equivalent; (E5) is
weaker than (E4). A theory of the partial diversity or degree of dissimilarity of two
elements of an algebra may be obtained by generalizing these axioms (E0) and (E4)
in terms of a (typically realvalued) function d satisfying
(E6) d(b, b) = 0
(E7) d(a, c) + d(ϕa, ψa) ≥ d(ϕc, ψc).
In Boolean algebras, the scheme (E7) is equivalent to the restricted version called
(A1) above:
When the axiom (E6) and the scheme (E7) are augmented by the obvious definition
of identity,
they yield a set of axioms for degrees of dissimilarity or diversity. In the bulk of this
paper the westward half of (E9) is not assumed, and it is only in § 6 that metrics
come to the fore.
Consider first a degenerate algebra, with no operations. As a is the only term
that involves a,
are all we can extract from (E6) and (E7). In other words, d is a pseudometric
operation. If (E9) holds too, then d is a metric operation. If d is defined on an
algebra L that contains operations, a strong condition of uniform continuity (E14),
the Lipschitz condition, is satisfied:
Inequality (E14), although weaker than (E7), is easier to work with than either (E7)
or (E8). It follows from (E8) alone, and not until step (A5) below is the full strength
of (E7) needed. Note also that from (E14) and the triangle inequality (E12) we can
derive (E8), but not (E7).
The next results invoke the assumption that the algebra L is a lattice with join +
and meet ·.
The lattice quadrangles are parallelograms. The isotony principles (E23) and (E24)
follow easily.
3. Radial Convexity
Since all the metrical formulas (E6)–(E24) of § 2 hold for the trivial metric (whose
value is 0 when a = c and 1 when a 6= c), (A2) is an independent assumption.
Mormann (2006), definition 2.6, calls those (pseudo)metric operations d for which
(A2) holds radially convex (pseudo)metrics.
In Miller (1984) there is a short proof that, if L is a Boolean algebra, the scheme
(A1) and the axiom (A2) imply that the lattice quadrilaterals are rectangles (see
§ 1, lines 14–21). It is shown also that this result, which is proved in formula (A8)
below, is not forthcoming for arbitrary lattices, even Boolean lattices. Yet the re
sult is demonstrable for all lattices once the scheme (A1), formerly called (E8), is
strengthened to (E7), which we here formally relabel:
Since these two schemes (A1) and (A? 1) are logically equivalent in Boolean algebras
(Miller op.cit., formula 23), and it is (A? 1) that we shall eventually want to adopt
for other algebras, we shall work in this section in the axiomatic system A+ whose
metrical postulates are (A? 1) and (A2) (the definitional axiom (A0) will not be
needed). Our purpose is to show how Birkhoff’s complicated axiom (B2) may be
simplified, whatever the lattice; in the presence of (B1), it obviously implies radial
convexity (A2), but it is itself a consequence of (A2) and rectangularity.
(E22) states that the opposite sides of a typical lattice quadrilateral are of equal
length. We show now, within the system A+ , that the diagonals of the quadrilateral
also are of equal length.
b+a+c
!t
t !@
a+c ! L
L L@
L L @
L L @
L L @
L L @
L L @
L L @
L L @t (b + a)·(b + c)
L L t b+a·c
L L !!L
!Lt!
L !
t ! Lb
L
b ·(a + c) L! L
b·a+b·c t
L L
@ L L
@ L L
@ L L
@ L !Lt a · c
@L !!
@Lt!
b·a·c
We are now able to give a proof of Birkhoff’s axiom (B2) within the system A+ ,
and further to show that, if the lattice L is distributive, then the inequality in (B2)
is turned into an identity:
By (A8), d(a, c) = d(a + c, a · c). Figure 0 shows that if to the two ends of the interval
[a + c, a · c] the intervals [b + a + c, a + c] and [a · c, b · a · c] are added, we obtain a
path through the lattice with length, by radial convexity (A2), equal to
The two middle terms here are, by (E22), equal in length to the two added inter
vals, while the two outer terms are, by (A8), equal in length to d(b + a, b + c) and
d(b · a, b · c). The other two terms are nonnegative, and if L is distributive, zero.
Birkhoff’s axiom (B2) is therefore derivable from the formulas (A2), (E22), and
(A8). It is clear that (B2) is satisfied by any function d that has a constant negative
value (say, −1), and hence it cannot ensure the triangular inequality, which above
was called (B1), or even d(b, b) = 0, which was called (E6). Since (E6) follows from
(A2), we have to assume more than (B2) if we are to prove (A2). We shall show that
the three formulas (A2), (E22), and (A8) are all derivable from (B2) together with
(B1); that is, that they are theorems of the system B. The following lines correct an
error in the derivation on lines 0–15 and 26–31 of § 2 of Miller (1984).
The formulas to be proved, (A2), (E22), and (A8), are at lines (B7), (B13), and
(B17), respectively.
These results encourage the recognition of a fourth axiom system B\ , a notable
simplification of the system B, and equivalent to each of A, B, and C in Boolean
algebras. B\ has five axioms, the definition (B\ 0), and the principles of triangularity
(B\ 1), translation invariance (B\ 2), torsion invariance (B\ 3), and radial convexity
(B\ 4):
4. Brouwerian Algebras
Although, as we have seen, a good number of the derivations succeed in all lat
tices, the investigation in Miller (1984) was carried out, for the most part, under
the hypothesis that the lattice L is a Boolean algebra. For the rest of the paper we
shall loosen this hypothesis, and assume only that the lattice on which d is defined
is a Brouwerian algebra; that is to say, L is a lattice with unit > in which for ev
ery two elements a, c there exists a smallest element b such that b + c a. This
element, written a − c, is called the remainder or difference when c is subtracted
from a. Brouwerian algebras are dual to Heyting algebras, the algebras correspond
ing to intuitionistic logic (in which for every two elements a, c there is a largest
element b, the conditional a → c, such that b · a c). Brouwerian algebras, like
Heyting algebras, are invariably distributive, and all finite distributive lattices, in
particular finite chains, are Brouwerian algebras. Just as in a Heyting algebra each
element b has a pseudocomplement b → ⊥ that obeys the law of noncontradiction
b · (b → ⊥) = ⊥, so in a Brouwerian algebra each element b has an authentic com
plement >− b that obeys the law of excluded middle b+(>− b) = >; it will be called
the authocomplement of b, and written b 0 . The symmetric difference of a and c, which
is defined by
will continue to play a crucial role in what we do. It must not be forgotten that
in Brouwerian algebras neither of the Boolean identities a − c = a · c 0 and a 4 c =
a · c 0 + c · a0 is generally valid.
Because of the relative unfamiliarity of the laws of the nonBoolean remainder
and symmetric difference (D0), we list below without proof the main ones appealed
to in the rest of the paper. They are duals of perhaps more homely laws of the intu
itionistic conditional and biconditional. Because of its importance, attention should
be drawn to the law (D10), in which χ c is a term like χ a except for containing c
at one or more places where χ a contains a. This is the dual of the intuitionistic
law of replacement: p ↔ r ` X p ↔ X r, where X p is a formula that contains free
the variable p and X r is the result of replacing one or more instances of p by the
variable r.
(D1) a−c = (a + c) − c
(D2) a−c = a−a·c
(D3) (a − c) · c = (a − c) · (a · c)
(D4) a4c = (a + c) 4 (a · c)
(D5) a+c = (a 4 c) + a · c
(D6) a4c ≥ (a 4 b) + (b 4 c)
(D7) a b c ⇒ a 4 c = (a 4 b) + (b 4 c)
(D8) a c ⇔ (a 4 c) + c = a
(D9) ac⇒a4c = a−c
(D10) a4c χa 4 χc
0
(D11) > = ⊥
0 0
(D12) (b · b ) = >
(D13) b−b = ⊥
(D14) b−⊥ = b
(D15) b4⊥ = b
(D16) b4b = ⊥
In a Brouwerian algebra, that is, neither B nor C implies A. Nor does A imply
either B or C, though this can be taken care of by strengthening (A1) to the already
familiar generalization,
It may be noted again that this alternative formulation makes no difference in Bool
ean algebras, where (A1? ) follows from (A1) (without the use of A2). Another
shortcoming, which is relatively easily taken care of, is the failure of C to imply B.
To recover for Brouwerian algebra this implication we have to make two reforms;
one is to replace the definition (C0) with the variant
(Birkhoff op.cit., Theorem X.1), and the other is to add an axiom (to be called (C? 4)
below) that states that the measure µ respects the ordering (that is, µ is iso
tone). Neither of these changes can be thought of as momentous amendments to the
original system C, since in Boolean algebras (C0) and (C+ 0) are logically equivalent
given the other axioms (since a · c and a 4 c are disjoint), and (C? 4) is a consequence
of these other axioms (since a · c and a · c 0 are disjoint).
It is not difficult to see in what way the definition (C+ 0) differs from (C0) in
Brouwerian algebras. (D5) (a 4 c) + a · c = a + c is a theorem of Brouwerian algebra.
By additivity (C3),
conflict with the intuitive idea behind (A1), that if a and c are similar then there is
an upper bound to how dissimilar ϕa and ϕc can be. None of this can be denied.
Note however that the threeelement chain is quite representative of all finite chains:
if y is the immediate inferior of the unit element 1, then y 0 = 1 and 10 = 0 are as
widely separated by the lattice ordering as they can be. In other words, there is
no upper bound in Brouwerian algebras to the number of elements (or equivalently
the number of nonzero intervals), between the authocomplements of adjacent el
ements; the intuitive distance d(ϕa, ϕc), that is, is generally unconstrained by the
value of d(a, c). In these circumstances the idea of adding a correction term to axiom
(A1) seems distinctly unpromising.
The simplest policy, which is also the most conservative one, therefore seems
to be to abandon the axiom system A altogether, to replace (C0) by (C0+ ), and to
add the isotony axiom (C? 4). It can then be shown, in a standard manner, that the
new system, which we may call C+, is logically equivalent to the system B: that
C+ implies B is the content of Birkhoff op.cit., Theorem X.1, while the proof that B
implies C+ is contained within lines 0–15 and 35–40 of Miller (1984), § 2. (In these
lines nothing more is assumed about L than that it is a lattice. There is an error at
lines 7f., which is implicitly corrected on p. 346 above.) But as announced in § 0,
our purpose here is to preserve the spirit of the system A by introducing a variant
of axiom (A2), and at the same time strengthening (A1) to (A? 1). This variation
will enable us to prove the equivalence of the new system A? with the system C? ,
which consists of the same axioms as the old system C, together with the isotony
axiom (C? 4). What we have to surrender, in order to achieve this, is equivalence
with the system B, since its characteristic axiom (B2) has to be so harshly mutilated
that it no longer qualifies for participation in a respectable axiomatic system. But
fortunately the variant B\ is at hand. If we modify its axiom (B\ 4), which is identical
with axiom (A2), in an identical way, we obtain a system B\? completely equivalent
with A? and C? .
The axioms of the new system C? are those of C, augmented with an axiom of
isotony (C? 4).
The following derivations are conducted within this system C? , together with
some of the laws of Brouwerian algebra listed above. Applying (C? 3) and the defi
nition (C? 0) to (D7), we obtain
Note that axiom (A? 3) must be stated independently. Without it, d could be any
constant nonzero function. (Thanks to (A? 2), and (D13), it suffices to postulate
d(⊥, ⊥) = 0.) The abbreviation
allows (A? 2) to be expressed more concisely. The correction term κ(a, b, c) may be
thought of as a measure of the curvature (the deviation from linearity) of chains
from a to c that pass through the point b. Since (> − b) · (b − ⊥) = b 0 · b
(a− b)·(b−c), the curvature κ(a, b, c) is bounded above by d(b· b 0 , ⊥), which implies
that κ(a, b, c) = 0 if b has a Boolean complement (that is, if b· b 0 = ⊥). As explained
By appealing to (D7), (C? 4), and (A? 0) we establish easily the second isotony prin
ciple (E24),
and by appealing to (C? 0), (C? 3), (C? 2), (D6), and (C? 4), we establish triangularity
as easily,
Writing for χ in (D10) the term ϕ 4 ψ, and then applying (C? 10), (C? 9), and
(C? 11), we obtain
A further threefold application of (C? 9) establishes our old principle of partial di
versity (A? 1):
We turn now to the converse derivation, the derivation of the axioms of C? within
the system A? . Since (A? 3) is the same as (E6), and (A? 1) is the same as (E7), the
metrical formulas (E6)–(E24) of § 2 can all be called on for this purpose. Axiom
(C? 1) is an immediate consequence of (A? 0) and (A? 3). Formula (E15) establishes
that d is nonnegative, and by (A? 0) the same holds for µ, establishing (C? 2). It
follows from (E24) that if a c then d(a, ⊥) ≥ d(c, ⊥), and hence by (A? 0) that
µ(a) ≥ µ(c); that is to say, µ is isotone, as stated in (C? 4). For (C? 0) and (C? 3)
rather more work is needed.
To establish (C? 0), we first prove within the system A? that d(a + c, a · c) =
d(a 4 c, ⊥). By the Lipschitz condition (E14), d(a 4 c, ⊥) ≥ d((a 4 c) + c, ⊥ + c),
and so by (D8), if a c then d(a 4 c, ⊥) ≥ d(a, c). By (E14) again, and (D16),
d(a, c) ≥ d(a 4 c, c 4 c) = d(a 4 c, ⊥). Since a + c a · c, these last two results
establish that d((a + c) 4 a · c, ⊥) = d(a + c, a · c). By (D4), we conclude that
d(a 4 c, ⊥) = d(a + c, a · c). It was shown in formula (A8) on p. 344 that the equality
of the diagonals of the lattice quadrangles is derivable from (A? 1) alone: d(a, c) =
d(a + c, a · c). It follows that d(a, c) = d(a 4 c, ⊥) and, by application of (A? 0), the
proof of (C? 0) is complete.
In any Brouwerian algebra, by (D1) and (D14), ((a + c) − c) · (c − ⊥) = (a − c) · c.
By (D2), (D14), and (D3), (a − a · c) · (a · c − ⊥) = (a − c) · (a · c) = (a − c) · c. In
other words, by (A? 4), κ(a + c, c, ⊥) = κ(a, a · c, ⊥). The chain a + c c ⊥ has
the same curvature at c as the chain c a · c ⊥ has at a · c, and if we apply (A? 2)
to each chain, and subtract, the curvature terms cancel out:
By (E22), we may infer that d(a+c, ⊥)− d(a, ⊥) = d(c, ⊥)− d(a·c, ⊥). The definition
(A? 0) may now be applied to each term, with the conclusion (C? 3): µ(a) + µ(c) =
µ(a + c) + µ(a · c).
The modified axiomatic systems A? and C? are thus interderivable. They are
interderivable also with the system B\? , which is obtained from B\ by modifying
(B\ 4) in the same way as (A2) was modified ((B\? 2) is indeed the same formula as
(A? 2)). The proofs of B\? from A? and of C? from B\? are minor variations on proofs
that have been given earlier. The details are omitted.
6. Metrization
A measure µ for which the system (C? ) holds is called strictly positive whenever
µ(b) = 0 implies that b = ⊥. That is, by (C? 0), the pseudometric d is a metric that
obeys (E9). Conversely, if d is a metric, the measure µ defined by (A? 0) is positive
isotone. The Brouwerian algebra L can be metrized in accordance with system A? if
and only if it admits a metric that satisfies the axioms of A? ; that is, if and only if it
admits a strictly positive measure µ.
The algebras that concern us, the algebras of theories of a classical logical cal
culus based on a denumerably infinite language, are all atomic, the atoms being
the maximal theories. These algebras either contain a theory that cannot be finitely
maximized (that is, extended to a maximal theory by adjoining a single proposition),
or contain no such theory. According to a theorem of Mostowski (1937), the alge
bras in the first class, which are epitomized by any calculus vulnerable to Gödel’s
theorem, have 2ℵ0 atoms, while those in the second class have ℵ0 atoms. For details
of Mostowski’s results, and a relatively elementary proof, see Miller (1992).
Theorem 2.5 of Horn & Tarski (1948) states that an algebra T of theories that has
denumerably many atoms admits a strictly positive measure, and is thus metrizable
in accordance with the system A? . But a theory algebra with 2ℵ0 atoms admits no
such measure, and is not metrizable in accordance with the system A? .
It does not follow that there are algebras of classical theories that are not metriz
able. In general, metrization demands less than measurability, as the following in
tuitive remarks may help to make clear. Because distinct theories imply distinct
propositions, of which there are only denumerably all told, every path from > to ⊥
in an algebra of theories has at most ℵ0 links. A radially convex metric therefore
must divide the interval [>, ⊥] into at most ℵ0 disjoint pieces. But an algebra with
continuum many atoms is pearshaped, very much wider at the bottom than it is tall,
and the total available measure on it must be divided into nondenumerably many
nonzero pieces.
Making use of results of Urysohn, Carruth, and Vietoris, Mormann (2006), Theo
rem 5.4, has demonstrated that each algebra of theories T is metrizable by a radially
convex metric ∂ (a metric satisfying A2). We shall use Mormann’s theorem to show
that each algebra T of theories is metrizable in another way by a metric d that satis
fies (A? 1) and for which, for every a, c ∈ T,
(A? 6) d(a, c) = ∂ (a 4 c, ⊥).
Since T may not be measurable, we cannot use the definition (A? 0) to define a
measure µ in terms of d (or in terms of ∂ either). It follows that (A? 2) must fail
for d. The system A? was designed specifically to be interderivable with C? , but the
design must now be partly unstitched.
The correction term κ in (A? 2) was calculated (p. 351) by applying (C? 3) and
?
(C 0) to (D7). If we are given a bounded function ν, not a measure, nothing need
stop us from recalculating the correction term to suit a different purpose. Let λ(a, c)
record the extent to which the function ν deviates from additivity, so that
(Cλ 3) ν(a) + ν(c) = ν(a + c) + ν(ac) + λ(a, c).
We can preserve the axiom scheme (A? 1) if we replace (A? 2) by
(Aλ 2) a b c ⇒ d(a, c) = d(a, b) + d(b, c) − κ(a, b, c) − λ(a − b, b − c).
References
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Horn, A. & Tarski, A. 1948. Measures in Boolean Algebras. Transactions of the American
Mathematical Society 64: 467–97.
Miller, D. W. 1977. On Distance from the Truth as a True Distance. (short version) Bulletin
of the Section of Logic, Institute of Philosophy & Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences,
Wrocław 6(1): 15–26.
———. 1978. On Distance from the Truth as a True Distance. In K. J. J. Hintikka, I. M. O.
Niiniluoto, & E. Saarinen (eds.) Essays on Mathematical & Philosophical Logic, pp. 415–
435. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company.
———. 1979. Metric Postulates for Modular, Distributive, and Boolean Lattices. Bulletin of
the Section of Logic, Institute of Philosophy & Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences,
Wrocław 8(4): 191–6.
———. 1984. A Geometry of Logic. In H. J. Skala, S. Termini, & E. Trillas (eds.) Aspects of
Vagueness, pp. 91–104. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company.
———. 1986. Continuous Connectives. Fisal–84 [Fall International Seminar on Applied Logic]
Proceedings, pp. 173–179. Palma de Mallorca: Govern Balear Conselleria d’Educació i Cul
tura, Universitat de les Illes Balears.
———. 1992. The Disposition of Complete Theories. Coleção Documentos, Série Lógica e
Teoria da Ciência, 10, agosto de 1992, Instituto de Estudos Avançados, Universidade de
São Paulo. Available at http://www.warwick.ac.uk/go/dwmiller/usp.pdf/.
———. 1994. Critical Rationalism. A Restatement and Defence. Chicago & La Salle: Open
Court Publishing Company.
Mormann T. 2006. Truthlikeness for Theories on Countable Languages. In I. C. Jarvie,
K. M. Milford, & D. W. Miller (eds.) Karl Popper: A Centenary Assessment. Volume III:
Science, pp. 3–15. Aldershot & Burlington VT: Ashgate.
Mostowski, A. 1937. Abzählbare Boolesche Körper und ihre Anwendung auf die allgemeine
Metamathematik. Fundamenta Mathematicae 29(1): 34–53. English translation 1979.
Foundational Studies. Selected Works, Volume II, pp. 1–17. Amsterdam: NorthHolland
Publishing Company, and Warsaw: Polish Scientific Publishers.
Nordhaus, E. A. & Lapidus, L. 1954. Brouwerian Geometry. Canadian Journal of Mathematics
6: 217–229.
Tarski, A. 1935/1936. Grundzüge des Systemenkalkül. Fundamenta Mathematicae 25(4):
503–26, and 26(2): 283–301. English translation 1956. Logic, Semantics, Metamathemat
ics, pp. 342–383. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Second edition 1983. Indianapolis: Hackett
Publishing Company.
DAVID MILLER
Department of Philosophy
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL UK
dwmiller57@yahoo.com
Resumo. A fim de medir o grau de dessemelhança entre elementos de uma álgebra boole
ana, o autor propôs em (1984) usar pseudométricas satisfazendo generalizações dos axiomas
usuais para a identidade. A proposta é estendida, na medida em que é exequível, de álgebras
booleanas (álgebras de proposições) para álgebras de Brouwer (álgebras de teorias deduti
vas). A relação entre geometrias booleanas e de Brouwer da lógica resulta semelhante, de
maneira curiosa, à relação entre geometrias euclidianas e nãoeuclidianas do espaço físico.
O artigo conclui com uma breve consideração do problema da metrização da álgebra de
teorias.
Notes
1
Some of this material has been presented at the INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ALGEBRAIC
& TOPOLOGICAL METHODS IN NONCLASSICAL LOGICS at Tbilisi State University, in 2003, and
at the XIV ENCONTRO BRASILEIRO DE LÓGICA at Itatiaia in 2006; and also at seminars at
the Department of Mathematics, University of Warwick, in 2005, at the Departamento de
Filosofía, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina, and the Departamento de Matemáti
cas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, in 2006. It is a real pleasure to be able to
dedicate this written version to Newton da Costa on his 80th birthday. In preparing it, I have
been much encouraged by the interest shown by Thomas Mormann in the geometry of logic.
As always, responsibility for errors is reserved.
Abstract. This work agrees and supports the I. Hacking’s thesis regarding the meaning
of the logical constants accordingly with Gentzen’s Introduction and Elimination Rules of
Sequent Calculus, corresponding with the abstract conception of the notion of logical conse
quence. We would like to ask for the minimum rules that must satisfy a connective in order to
be considered as a genuine negation. Mainly, we will refer to both da Costa’s CSystems and
Priest’s LP system. Finally, we will analyze the presentations of these systems within the Se
quent Logic to show that paraconsistent negation lacks of pure rules of negationelimination
and negationintroduction rules or that they involve other connectives, thus making difficult
to assign an univocal meaning to paraconsistent negation.
1. Introducción
En un artículo fundacional What is Logic? (1979), Ian Hacking, arroja luces decisi
vas sobre el problema clásico en filosofía de la lógica tal como lo es el significado de
las constantes lógicas. Hacking comienza definiendo la lógica como transiciones de
oraciones a otras oraciones. Estas transiciones deben expresarse en el metalenguaje y
deben considerarse solamente descripciones o codificaciones de cómo nosotros cree
mos que deben hacerse las mismas cuando deseamos decir que ellas son de carácter
lógico. Además, pueden entenderse como casos especiales de transformaciones y
pueden ser pensadas tanto semántica como sintácticamente y, de acuerdo con Witt
genstein, nunca pueden calificarse de justificaciones. Para ello adopta el cálculo de
secuentes de Gentzen, en el cual las reglas estructurales caracterizan el concepto
abstracto de consecuencia lógica mientras que las reglas operatorias caracterizan el
uso o significado de las constantes lógicas en concordancia con las reglas estructu
rales. A su vez, las reglas operatorias que caracterizan las constantes lógicas sólo
tienen sentido leídas en el marco de deducibilidad generado por las reglas estructu
rales y sólo dentro de esta estructura de conjunto puede decirse que constituyen el
significado de las constantes lógicas. Esta tesis ha sido rigurosamente fundamenta
da por R. Wójcicki (1988) quien sostiene que toda operación de consecuencia está
Principia 13(3): 357–70 (2009).
Published by NEL — Epistemology and Logic Research Group, Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil.
358 Gladys Palau & Cecilia Duran
Es decir, los sistemas de lógica paraconsistente son aquellos que admiten con
tradicciones pero no por ello originan sistemas triviales, lo cual implica distinguir
nítidamente inconsistencia de trivialidad. En palabras de W. A. Carnielli y J. Marcos
(2007: 11), una lógica es paraconsistente si es inconsistente pero no trivial. Coinci
dimos con estos autores en que uno de los argumentos más fuertes a favor de la
importancia de estos sistemas sea la existencia efectiva de teorías inconsistentes pe
ro no triviales, como por ejemplo, la teoría intuitiva de conjuntos.
En el enfoque de Hacking el significado de las conectivas lógicas, incluso el de
la negación, depende de las reglas admitidas o rechazadas que rigen el uso de cada
conectiva. Precisamente el Cálculo de Secuentes de Gentzen nombra las reglas que
rigen la introducción y la eliminación de las conectivas como Introducción en el pos
tsecuente y en el prosecuente respectivamente. Por ello, dada una regla que no debe
quedar validada por la teoría, hay que explorar qué es lo que se debe alterar en el
cálculo de secuentes a fin de filtrarla. En el caso que nos ocupa, dado que el rechazo
de ECQ es común a todo sistema de lógica paraconsistente, todo sistema paraconsis
tente deberá rechazar también las reglas que permiten derivar ECQ. En particular,
desde el marco de la lógica de secuentes, se deberían rechazar o modificar las reglas
estructurales o las operatorias que posibilitan la derivación de tal regla.
Si se explora en esta lógica qué reglas permiten la demostración de ECQ, se
encuentra que la demostración en lógica de secuentes de ECQ involucra Introduc
ción de la Negación en el prosecuente (¬ ⇒), Introducción de la Conjunción en el
prosecuente (∧ ⇒) y Atenuación en el postsecuente (⇒ At).3 Por ello, se abren dos
caminos, o bien se pone en duda (⇒ At) o bien falla (¬ ⇒). Exploraremos ambas
alternativas.
La primera opción no resulta conveniente ya que si se descarta (⇒ At) se res
tringe la potencia lógica de los sistemas paraconsistentes, puesto que esta regla es
necesaria para la demostración en lógica de secuentes del axioma del sistema Cω
de N. C. A. da Costa, D. Krause y O. Bueno (2007: 798), (A → C) → ((B → C) →
((A ∨ B) → C)) y para la derivación de la Ley de Dummett, (A ∨ (A → B)).4 Además,
quitar (⇒ At) no es condición suficiente para evitar explosión, ya que ello no impide
la derivación de otra forma de explosión, como es el caso de la regla Γ, A, ¬A ⇒ ¬B, ∆
cuya derivación no emplea (⇒ At).
La segunda opción nos conduce a explorar qué sucede en una lógica paraconsis
tente con la regla operatoria de Introducción de la negación en el prosecuente (¬ ⇒).
Si esta regla fallara en todas sus aplicaciones, la desviación de la lógica paraconsis
tente respecto de la lógica clásica no estaría dada por las reglas estructurales sino por
alguna de las reglas operatorias que involucran la negación, lo cual condicionaría el
significado de esta conectiva en la mencionada lógica. Elucidar estas cuestiones y sus
consecuencias para la filosofía de la lógica es uno de nuestros objetivos principales.
Para nuestro trabajo hemos elegido como referencia los sistemas que considera
mos más representativos de este tipo de lógica en la literatura actual, a saber, los
Csistemas de N. C. A. da Costa et al. (2007), y el sistema LP de Graham Priest
(2001), ya que ellos emplean dos estrategias totalmente diferentes, la vía de una
lógica no veritativo funcional por parte de la escuela de da Costa y la vía de una
lógica multivaluada por parte de Priest.
Es sabido que en todo sistema lógico paraconsistente, a los efectos de obtener sis
temas no triviales pero que admitan contradicciones se debe satisfacer las reglas de
las conectivas positivas pero no debe satisfacerse la ya citada regla ECQ. Respecto
del Principio de No Contradicción la situación es distinta ya que si se desea que el
sistema sea una lógica dialéctica, como el sistema DL de da CostaWolf (1980) este
principio no puede ser válido, de donde se sigue que su rechazo no constituye una
condición necesaria para la paraconsistencia. Los sistemas paraconsistentes de da
Costa conforman una colección jerárquica Cn , 0 ≤ n ≤ ω construida a partir de los
axiomas positivos de la axiomática de Hilbert. Cω contiene la negación paraconsis
tente más débil y por ello está caracterizado solamente por 11 axiomas, entre los
que se incluye el Modus ponens (MP) en tanto regla y dos axiomas específicos para
la negación: la doble negación no intuicionista ¬¬A → A (DN) y el principio clási
co Tertium non datur A ∨ ¬A (TND). Como en todo Csistema, además de ECQ, en
Cω tampoco puede ser válida la regla clásica Reductio ad absurdum (RAb), A → B,
A → ¬B ⇒ ¬A debida a Johanssen y Kolmorogov y tan exitosamente usada en la
matemática, porque si valiera, sería posible demostrar ¬(A ∧ ¬A) como teorema por
Sustitución Uniforme a partir de los dos primeros axiomas positivos de Cn con dos
aplicaciones de MP (Maranhão 2001: 13).5
Tampoco puede valer el principio de doble negación intuicionista A ⇒ ¬¬A, por
que si valiera conjuntamente con el axioma ¬¬A ⇒ A, la negación paraconsistente
colapsaría nuevamente en la negación clásica. La falla de la regla (RAb) hace caer to
das las formas de la Transposición e incluso al Silogismo Disyuntivo (SD)6 y al Modus
tollens. Tampoco resultan teoremas ¬A → (A → B), ¬A → (A → ¬B), A → (¬A → B),
A → (¬A → ¬B), (A∧ ¬A) → B) y (A∧ ¬A) → ¬B) cuyas demostraciones requieren de
ECQ. Dado que en lógica de secuentes todas estas reglas utilizan en su demostración
la regla Introducción de la negación en el prosecuente (¬⇒), se podría entonces supo
ner que en todo sistema paraconsistente se debería descartar esta regla. Sin embargo
esta alternativa plantea los siguientes dos problemas (i) si se aplica Sustitución Uni
forme en el primer axioma positivo de Cω , i.e., ⇒ A → (B → A), entonces resultan
teoremas los casos de Causa mirabilis ¬A → (A → ¬A) y A → (¬A → A), cuyas demos
traciones en lógica de secuentes involucran la regla (¬ ⇒) y (ii) la demostración en
lógica de secuentes del axioma de Cω , ¬¬A → A requiere tanto de Introducción de la
negación en el postsecuente (⇒ ¬) como de la regla de Introducción en el prosecuente
(¬⇒). Sin embargo se debe tener en cuenta que si se descarta la regla (¬⇒) enton
ces todas las formas de explosión quedan obstruidas, lo cual muestra la utilidad de
su rechazo. Por otra parte, es posible resolver los inconvenientes planteados en (i)
y (ii) prescindiendo de (¬ ⇒). En efecto, los casos de Causa mirabilis planteados en
(i) quedan validados en los Csistemas si se admite que las fórmulas fundamentales
o axiomas de los que parte toda derivación, puedan ser literales (i.e., fórmulas ató
micas o fórmulas atómicas negadas) del tipo ¬A ⇒ ¬A7 y además se acepte atenuar
con literales. En relación con el inconveniente (ii) i.e., el referido a la Eliminación
de Doble Negación, Andrés Raggio (1968) realiza un análisis de la negación en los
sistemas Cω desde la lógica de Secuentes y propone caracterizar la negación para
consistente de Cω por la siguiente regla de Introducción de la doble negación en el
prosecuente (¬¬⇒) la cual se conserva en todos los Csistemas, a saber:
A, Γ ⇒ Θ
¬¬A, Γ ⇒ Θ
En el cálculo de Raggio para Cω , además de la regla de la doble negación se efec
túan dos modificaciones más: (i) se elimina la regla (¬ ⇒) de la lógica de secuentes
de Gentzen, dejando solamente la mencionada (¬¬ ⇒) y (ii) se modifica la regla
(⇒→) de Gentzen mediante una restricción según la cual en el postsecuente de la
premisa sólo puede aparecer la fórmula que es el consecuente del condicional que a
su vez es conclusión de la regla. O sea, la regla (⇒→)R :
A, Γ ⇒ B
Γ⇒A→ B
Esta modificación filtra perfectamente tanto la ley de Dummet como la ley de
Peirce que no son teoremas de Cω dado que éste fue construido sobre el fragmen
to positivo del sistema de Hilbert, según lo afirman sus propios autores. Además,
A◦ , Γ ⇒ Θ, A (◦ ¬⇒)
A◦ , ¬A, Γ ⇒ Θ
todos los teoremas clásicos, es decir siempre que las fórmulas que pudieran generar
explosión estén estabilizadas. 10
A ¬A
0 1
01 10
1 0
Γ ⇒ ∆, ¬A, B
Γ ⇒ A → B, ∆
(¬¬ ⇒) A, Γ ⇒ ∆ (⇒ ¬¬) Γ ⇒ ∆, A
¬¬A, Γ ⇒ ∆ Γ ⇒ ∆, ¬¬A
Similarmente a las reglas que A. Avron (2005) enumera como reglas comunes a
la negación de varias lógicas subclásicas, en este sistema se emplean reglas para in
troducir la negación en combinación con otras conectivas, a los efectos de bloquear
la derivación en SLP de la regla ECQ y de MP ya que ninguna de ellas permite el
pasaje de una fórmula del prosecuente al postsecuente ni del postsecuente al prose
cuente. Dado que LP carece de MP, en particular nos interesa destacar las referidas
al condicional, ya que ellas se presentan usando la negación:13
(¬ →⇒) Γ, A, ¬B ⇒ ∆ (⇒ ¬ →) Γ ⇒ ∆, A Γ ⇒ ∆, ¬B
Γ, ¬(A ⊃ B) ⇒ ∆ Γ ⇒ ∆, ¬(A ⊃ B)
Al igual que las reglas presentadas por Avron (2005) la formulación de estas
reglas rompe drásticamente la tesis filosófica que hemos propuesto al comienzo de
este trabajo, a saber, que el significado de cada conectiva lógica está dado por las
reglas de eliminación e introducción correspondientes, las cuales a su vez definen la
noción de consecuencia lógica del sistema lógico en cuestión. En síntesis, toda lógica
queda determinada por la base deductiva formada por el conjunto de reglas que se
satisfacen. En la literatura actual esta tesis ha dado lugar a la propiedad conocida
como separabilidad de las conectivas lógicas tanto respecto de sus condiciones de
verdad como de las reglas que determinan su uso. Se dice que una base deductiva
Q es separable si y sólo si ella permite caracterizar cada conectiva del lenguaje en
forma independiente de las restantes. Más precisamente una base deductiva Q es
separable si (i) ninguna regla de Q involucra más de una conectiva y (ii) para cual
quier conjunto de conectivas Ci de Q, las consecuencias lógicas de Ci son iguales al
conjunto de las consecuencias lógicas de Q restringidas a las conectivas de Ci (Wój
cicki 1998: 183). La base deductiva de la lógica clásica es en efecto separable, tal
como queda mostrado tanto en la presentación axiomática de Hilbert, como en los
sistemas de deducción natural y de secuentes de Gentzen. Por el contrario, la base
deductiva propuesta para LP adolece de ciertas dificultades: 1) No tiene reglas para
la negación sino que en su lugar figuran las de Introducción y Eliminación de la Do
ble Negación y 2) las reglas del condicional (y de las restantes conectivas) involucran
para su eliminación o introducción de la negación. Ergo, la base deductiva de LP, no
es separable y por lo tanto el significado de sus conectivas no queda unívocamente
determinado. Sin embargo, dado que este sistema y en general los sistemas para
consistentes han sido construidos para dar cuenta de la lógica de dominios vagos o
difusos o de los que admiten cierto tipo de contradicciones, que las conectivas lógicas
de tales sistemas no tengan la propiedad de separabilidad, no resulta un resultado
escandaloso.
4. Comentarios finales
Ahora bien, hasta aquí, hemos analizado las propiedades que necesariamente no
debe cumplir un operador de negación en un sistema lógico que pretenda tener en
cuenta el carácter dialéctico de la realidad. Sin embargo, las leyes sobre la negación
rechazadas tanto en los cálculos C1 , . . . , Cn , Cω como en el sistema LP de Priest han
generado una negación más débil que la negación clásica, lo cual ha derivado en
que muchos lógicos se pregunten si constituyen realmente una negación y nos ha
conducido a preguntarnos qué propiedades debe cumplir un operador de negación
para ser considerado una genuina negación. Cuestión esta que pasaremos ahora a
examinar.
En el libro tradicional sobre lógicas multivaluadas de N. Rescher, éste propone
una condición semántica para que un operador sea realmente una negación. Tal
requisito consiste en prohibir que A y ¬A tengan el mismo valor distinguido. Obvia
mente, este requisito no es satisfecho por la negación del sistema LP de Priest ya
que, como se mostró anteriormente, A y ¬A ambas pueden tener el valor 01. Por
su parte, con la negación del sistema paraconsistente C1 de da Costa et al., aunque
ésta no sean veritativo funcional, si la V (A) = 0 entonces V (¬A) = 1 (da Costa et al.
2007: 821) y por ello este requisito se cumple parcialmente. En Cω sólo se satisface
que si V (¬¬A) = 1 entonces V (A) = 1 lo cual determina que el requisito se cumpla
pero respecto de la doble negación. En otras palabras por una u otra razón en los
sistemas estudiados A y ¬A no aparecen distinguibles respecto de la verdad en un
sentido clásico.
Creemos oportuno preguntarnos entonces a manera de conclusión al igual que
Wolfang Lenzen en el trabajo titulado Necessary conditions for negation operators
(with particular applications to paraconsistent negation) cuáles son las propiedades
esenciales o indispensables para cualquier operador de negación Según este autor,
debe cumplir con el siguiente principio:
CP: Si A es al menos tan verdadero como B, i.e. si A implica lógicamente a B,
entonces conversamente B es a lo sumo tan falso como A, i.e. la falsedad de B
implica lógicamente la falsedad de A. En símbolos: Si A → B entonces ¬B →
¬A.
Pedir como condición indispensable (o suficiente) la contraposición parece bas
tante sensato ya que éste tiene su origen en el esquema de argumento refutatorio
empleado por Platón en sus diálogos. Tiene varias formulaciones y la mencionada
corresponde a la versión característica de la negación minimal. Además, esta versión
es considerada la más débil, ya que su demostración sólo requiere el uso de la regla
de Reducción al Absurdo que no implica la doble negación clásica. Ya hemos dicho
que la contraposición minimal resulta inválida en el sistema Cω , y sí es válida en C1 ,
pero recordando que este resultado se basa en el supuesto de de que la fórmula B
esté estabilizada. El sistema dado LP de Priest cumple con este principio, dado que,
(p → q) → (¬q → ¬p) nunca toma el valor 0 y toma el valor 01 en los casos en los
que V (p) = 1 y V (q) = 01, V (p) = 01 y V (q) = 0 y cuando V (p) = V (q) = 01. Pero,
como el valor 01 es distinguido, entonces el requisito de contraposición es válido y,
aún cuando no cumpla con la natural exigencia de Rescher, la negación del siste
ma LP de Priest aparece como constituyendo una negación genuina, pese a que no
posibilite la derivación de ECQ pero sí permita la validez del principio de No Contra
dicción. Finalmente, dado que tanto C1 como LP cuentan con la validez de la forma
Bibliografía
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———. 2005. The future of paraconsistent logic. Publicación electrónica:
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GLADYS PALAU
Departamento de Filosofía
Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación (FaHCE)
Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP)
Universidad de Buenos Aires
Argentina
gadi1@fibertel.com.ar
CECILIA DURAN
Departamento de Filosofía
Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación (FaHCE)
Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP)
Argentina
cdurancduran@gmail.com
Resumo. Neste trabalho concordase com a tese de I. Hacking segundo a qual o significado
das constantes lógicas é dado pelas Regras de Introdução e Eliminação do cálculo de sequen
tes de Gentzen que caracterizam a concepção da noção de consequência lógica abstrata.
Perguntamos quais são as regras mínimas que um conectivo deve satisfazer para que seja
considerado uma negação genuína. Tomaremos como referência para tratar dessa questão
os Csistemas de Newton da Costa e o sistema LP de Graham Priest. Finalmente, analisare
mos esses sistemas na lógica de sequentes a fim de mostrar que a negação paraconsistente
ou bem carece das regras puras de eliminação e negação da negação ou ela envolve outros
conectivos, o que torna difícil atribuir um significado unívoco à negação paraconsistente.
Palavraschave: Lógica paraconsistente, negação, cálculo de sequentes.
Notas
1
La demostración primera se debe en realidad a Gödel, quien demuestra que todas las le
yes clásicas expresadas en términos de la conjunción y negación son leyes intuicionistas y
la segunda a Anderson y Belnap (1975) según quienes las leyes clásicas expresadas con
conjunción, disyunción y negación son todas leyes relevantistas.
2
En la literatura sobre el tema también se menciona que la lógica paraconsistente no cumple
Γ, A, ¬A ⇒ ∆, denominada Explosión (o Pseudo Scotus), pero en el texto nos referiremos
siempre a ECQ ya que ellas no se distinguen en una lógica de conclusión única.
3
Hay otra, de origen medieval, que en deducción Natural utiliza Adición y Silogismo Dis
yuntivo y que su demostración en secuentes involucra también la regla (¬ ⇒).
4
En Carnielli y Marcos (2001) la Ley de Dummett, se agrega al conjunto de axiomas de Cω
para obtener Cmin (considerado por ellos el más débil de la jerarquía de los C sistemas).
5
Otra razón para rechazar Reductio ad absurdum reside en que esta regla permite derivar
reglas de la negación clásica que harían colapsar la negación paraconsistente con la clásica.
6
El rechazo de SD conduce a un resultado paradójico ya que en los Csistemas no es posible
derivar la fórmula B por SD, pero sí puede derivarse a partir de ((A → B) ∧ A) por MP, lo cual
implica el rechazo de la definición del condicional en términos de disyunción y negación.
7
Como se señala en Benassi y Gentilini (2007: 222), si esto no fuera posible, tampoco podría
demostrarse ¬A ⇒ ¬A a partir de A ⇒ A. También se requiere de este recurso para derivar
(A → ¬A) → ¬A.
8
Dicha negación permite definir una trivialización parcial (o positiva).
9
También se puede optar por agregarla a las ya dadas como regla derivada:
B ◦ , Γ1 , A → B ⇒ ∆1 B ◦ , Γ2 , A → ¬B ⇒ ∆2
Γ1 , Γ2 ⇒ ¬A, ∆1 , ∆2
10
Otros análisis (Carnielli et al. 2007) se han dedicado al detallado análisis de los sistemas
de la Lógica de la Inconsistencia Formal determinando que ya no es posible identificar a los
Csistemas con los sistemas Cn de da Costa sino que abarcan un vastísimo campo de sistemas
paraconsistentes dentro de los cuales es posible expresar consistencia.
11
La matriz de Priest para las restantes conectivas es la siguiente:
A∧ B A∨ B A→ B
B
LP A@ @ 1 01 0 1 01 0 1 01 0
1 1 01 0 1 1 1 1 01 0
01 01 01 0 1 01 01 1 01 01
0 0 0 0 1 01 0 1 1 1
12
Si se quiere la validez MP como regla de inferencia, hay que cambiar la matriz del condi
cional y se obtendría el sistema RM3.
13
Las reglas propuestas para las restantes conectivas son:
(¬∧ ⇒) Γ, ¬A ⇒ ∆ Γ, ¬B ⇒ ∆ (⇒ ¬∧) Γ ⇒ ∆, ¬A, ¬B
Γ, ¬(A ∧ B) ⇒ ∆ ⇒ ∆, ¬(A ∧ B)
(¬∨ ⇒) Γ, ¬A, ¬B ⇒ ∆ (⇒ ¬∨) Γ ⇒ ∆, A Γ ⇒ ∆, B
Γ, ¬(A ∨ B) ⇒ ∆ Γ ⇒ ∆, ¬(A ∨ B)
Abstract. This article defends the hypothesis that Ernst Mach (18381916) employed nat
uralism (a word he never used) — an attitude which has its origin in Mach’s acceptance
of Darwinism — as a weapon against metaphysics, since the former would try to establish
evalutions criteria, including those necessary to choose scientific theories, capable of being
used by human beings.
Uma das mais importantes “verdades” da história da ciência moderna afirma que os
cientistas, em especial os físicos, sempre alimentaram uma profunda desconfiança
pela metafísica, quando não uma autêntica repulsa. Tomada em sentido estrito e
como se desfrutasse de valor univeral, penso que essa tese é falsa. Ainda que seja
impossível formular uma posição comum para os cientistasfilósofos atuantes entre
fins dos oitocentos e início dos novecentos no que diz respeito à metafísica — se ela
é efetivamente um obstáculo para o desenvolvimento da ciência, por exemplo —,
creio ser inquestionável que um bom número deles não apenas aceitava a existência
da metafísica, mas pensava que esta poderia dar algum tipo de contribuição positiva
para a ciência. No entanto, creio que este é um trabalho que está por ser feito. Em
outras palavras, penso que seria muito útil e instrutivo conhecer o “lugar” atribuído
à metafísica pelos cientistas deste período. Apesar de não ser difícil mostrar opiniões
positivas e favoráveis, a historiografia mais conhecida e divulgada ainda permanece
aferrada à crença de que a metafísica sempre foi percebida como um problema ou
um obstáculo. Por exemplo, entre aqueles que publicamente defendiam o completo
afastamento entre ciência e metafísica, encontrase a célebre figura de Ernst Mach
Principia 13(3): 371–84 (2009).
Published by NEL — Epistemology and Logic Research Group, Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil.
372 Antonio Augusto Passos Videira
século XIX e dos primeiros anos do século seguinte, não são completamente isentas,
já que o compreendem a partir dos resultados da ciência. Mach pareceme sempre
ser “acusado” de algum crime que supostamente teria cometido. Como no caso da
sociedade brasileira, onde os acusados sempre têm que se defender, Mach, ou me
lhor, aqueles que acreditam em suas teses, devem, sob pena de receber um veredicto
negativo, apresentar provas em favor das idéias do físico austríaco de origem checa.
É possível que o próprio Mach não se importasse com isso, uma vez que sempre se
considerou um físico e não um filósofo. As atitudes dos filósofos lhes pareciam equi
vocadas; elas o seriam, posto que à filosofia, conforme Mach compreendia aquela que
se fazia majoritariamente em seu tempo, caberia a determinação de um fundamento
último e definitivo para o conhecimento. Em outras palavras, a filosofia parecia se
ocupar principalmente com metafísica. Mach sempre se pautou pela busca de uma
concepção de conhecimento que fosse livre de todo e qualquer traço de metafísica,
já que não acreditava na capacidade da filosofia em dar respostas definitivas para
questões referentes a temas, como, por exemplo, a origem do universo ou se existi
ria a alma. Ao escolher os cientistas como alvo principal para as suas publicações,
Mach pretendia mostrarlhes a inutilidade, quando não o perigo, das interrogações
sem fim sobre a natureza última das coisas, como, por exemplo, da matéria ou do
calor. O único meio para por fim a essas reflexões seria através do reconhecimento
de que a matéria não é uma substância, mas, sim, um conceito, isto é, um símbolo de
pensamento, que substitui um conjunto de relações que mantemos com os objetos
e que estes mantêm entre si. A formação de tais conceitos é uma tendência natural
nos seres humanos, tal tendência, todavia, pode se revelar desastrosa, donde peri
gosa, caso se considere que o termo designa uma substância verdadeira que existe de
maneira incondicionada. É nesta crítica que se pode encontrar a crítica mais radical
que Mach dirigia à metafísica. Uma verdade incondicionada estaria para além das
potencialidades intelectuais dos seres humanos. Em outros termos, a metafísica de
veria ser criticada, uma vez que ela dava origem a uma série de falsos problemas,
irresolúveis porque mal formulados. Assim, podese pensar que Mach nutria como
um de seus principais objetivos em mostrar o sem sentido de alguns dos proble
mas mais antigos sobre os quais a humanidade se debruçava tentando fornecerlhes
respostas.
Um ponto que deve ser enfatizado quando se analisa o pensamento de Mach é
a sua preocupação em gerar uma imagem de conhecimento que esteja na medida
do ser humano. Mach sempre lutou para que se reconhecesse que o conhecimento
é humano, o que significa afirmar que ele foi gerado por homens para os seus se
melhantes: “[O] conhecimento . . . é um produto da natureza orgânica (Mach 1943:
217). De certo modo, podese considerar Mach um adepto da antiga fórmula de Pro
tágoras: “O homem é a medida de todas as coisas.” É aqui, na obediência a essa
fórmula, que ele mais se aproxima do positivismo. Se o conhecimento deve ser ade
Em suma, para Mach, era fundamental determinar o que poderia ser obtido por
uma descrição.
O reconhecimento de que não seria possível evitar o uso de critérios para a avali
ação do estágio alcançado pelo conhecimento não implica que a explicação para eles
encontrase na estrutura da razão. Uma vez que aquilo que os filósofos chamam de
razão tem uma história, isto é, fruto de um processo evolutivo, não é mais factível
pensar que ela é capaz de gerar uma crença insuspeita em seu funcionamento. A
razão humana seria falível.
Mach não acreditava ser possível responder de modo definitivo à questão acerca
dos critérios que deveriam justificar aqueles outros efetivamente empregues pelos
físicos e demais cientistas naturais. De modo breve, estabelecer critérios (problema
normalmente atribuído à epistemologia) é sinônimo de fazer metafísica, pois, para
que os critérios pudessem realizar aquilo que se espera deles, sendo que uma das
A representação mental que nos formamos dos fatos nunca são o fato total,
mas, sim, aquele aspecto do mesmo que é, para nós, importante (. . . ). Nos
sas representações são sempre abstrações. Também aqui podemos ver uma
faceta do caráter econômico. (Mach 1949: 400)
Ou ainda: “Toda ciência tem por missão substituir a experiência.” (Mach 1949: 406)
Mach sempre foi um defensor apaixonado do caráter econômico da ciência. Para
ele, a ciência deveria principalmente nos ajudar na economia de esforços por meio da
codificação dos processos adaptativos, os quais foram bem sucedidos anteriormente.
De certo modo, a ciência é uma forma simples, fácil e coletiva de memorização
daqueles resultados adaptativos que os seres humanos obtiveram ao longo da sua
história. Em suas palavras, “[A] física é experiência arrumada de modo econômico
(Mach 1943: 197)
A ciência para Mach é criada pelas e nas necessidades mais cotidianas dos seres
humanos. Ou ainda: a origem da ciência encontrase na prática e não na especula
ção. Em suma, a ciência originase na sociedade. Isso gera a seguinte implicação:
não existe ruptura radical, ou abismo intransponível, entre ciência e senso comum.
A prática científica mantém uma vinculação contínua com a prática cotidiana. A me
lhor maneira de compreendermos a natureza da ciência é através dos seus inícios
“caseiros”, ou seja, do papel que ela desempenhou, como ainda o faz, na luta do
homem pela sua sobrevivência. É curioso observar que justamente na época em que
se dissemina a tese de que o pensamento está vinculado à sobrevivência surgia, de
modo avassalador, o sentimento de segurança, uma das marcas características do
século XX. O conhecimento tem uma origem primitiva, o responsável pela solidez do
pensamento científico: “Os maiores avanços da ciência têm sempre consistido [na
obtenção] de uma formulação bem sucedida em termos claros, abstratos e comu
nicáveis daquilo que era há muito tempo conhecido [de modo] instintivo e, assim,
tornandoo uma propriedade permanente da humanidade.” (Mach 1943: 191) Ou
ainda: “. . . as leis mais felizes [i.e. bem sucedidas] não caem do céu, mas emergem
(saltam) de noções já existentes.” (Mach 1943: 226)
A abstração e a formalização, marcas próprias da ciência moderna, em particular,
daquelas que sofreram o impacto da matematização das suas fórmulas e representa
ções como é o caso da física, não devem ser vistas como desconectando o mundo da
vida daquele outro construído graças ao recurso do conhecimento científico. Para o
nosso cientistafilósofo, a ciência é, acima de tudo, um instrumento de adaptação do
ser humano ao seu ambiente. A ciência nunca poderá ser considerada pronta e com
pleta; ela se encontra continuamente submetida a um processo de melhoramento.
Jamais seria possível construir uma teoria científica definitivamente verdadeira do
mundo. Todos os enunciados empíricos das ciências naturais têm um caráter hipo
tético. A ciência se move no domínio das conjecturas. As próprias teorias científicas
nada mais são do que instrumentos provisórios.
À Guisa de Conclusão
Sou da opinião que Mach sempre defendeu uma concepção falibilista e revisionista
de ciência. No entanto, isso não significa, ou melhor, não implica que a ciência seja
instável. Ao contrário, uma de suas mais marcantes características é a sua estabili
dade. Mas, o que gera tal estabilidade? Se não nos é possível conhecer a natureza
última das coisas, não devemos procurar a base, ou o mecanismo, dessa estabilidade
nas coisas ou na substância como uma filosofia essencialista procuraria realizar. Para
Mach, a estabilidade deveria ser explicada por algum mecanismo que envolvesse di
retamente os seres humanos. A ciência não é obra de deuses, mas, sim, de seres que
são finitos, falíveis e contingentes. São os interesses humanos, e que se desenvol
veram junto com a própria espécie humana, que vão, em última instância, explicar
de que modo a ciência tornase estável. O mecanismo humano que torna possível
a estabilidade da ciência são os seus interesses, entre os quais se sobressai aquele
ligado à sobrevivência da espécie. A estabilidade, tal como a existência da ciência,
deve receber uma explicação naturalista: “A transformação das idéias aparece assim
como uma parte da evolução geral da vida, como uma parte da sua adaptação a uma
esfera de ação que constantemente se amplia.” (Mach 1943: 233)
Alguns cientistasfilósofos da estirpe de Mach, Poincaré, Bolztmann, Duhem,
Einstein e Heisenberg entre outros, não apenas colocaram em discussão a existência
da metafísica, mas, ainda que de modo conflituoso, defenderam, em certos casos,
uma relação positiva entre esta e a própria ciência natural. Aqueles que defende
ram essa segunda posição, desconfiavam que a metafísica não se reduzisse a uma
mera teoria sobre a constituição de objetos, principalmente daqueles invocados para
explicar seja a composição, seja a estrutura dos fenômenos visíveis. Para além des
ses temas, a metafísica teria relação com o antigo e bem conhecido problema da
orientação, a saber: qual o sentido da existência humana?
De que modo é possível perceber e mostrar a preocupação por parte de “nossos”
cientistasfilósofos com a questão do sentido? Penso que uma possibilidade encontra
se se direcionarmos o foco para as suas preocupações com o ensino, mais especifica
mente com os rumos que deveriam ser dados ao ensino de línguas clássicas e ciências
naturais nos liceus e ginásios de seus países e épocas. Recorrendo a uma termino
logia que se tornou famosa na segunda metade do século XX, os cientistas de finais
dos oitocentos percebiam que o fosso crescente entre as duas culturas — científica e
humanista  era preocupante.
Atendome especificamente ao caso de Mach, se, por um lado, é correto afirmar
que ele favoreceu a posição que pregava a diminuição do número de horas de au
las de latim e grego, ele nunca o fez, defendendo as suas completas eliminações. O
grego e o latim fazem parte da história de todo aquele que se considera um habitan
tes do espaço cultural e ideológico definido pelo Ocidente. Não ensinar as línguas
clássicas e as idéias a elas associadas geraria uma situação inaceitável, uma vez que
os resultados obtidos através do método históricocrítico não poderiam nem mesmo
ser reconhecidos, o que retiraria todo o seu valor. O que Mach desejava para o ensino
era que este fosse capaz de treinar os jovens no exercício consciente e quotidiano da
interrogação, da investigação e da formulação ousada de soluções para os problemas
que atraíam a sua atenção. Em suma, o que me parece ser válido para aquilo que
Mach entende ser ciência ou conhecimento, seja no que diz respeito ao seu ensino
e à sua transmissão, seja no que diz respeito à sua criação, sintetizase na seguinte
conclusão: o ser humano não pode esquecerse de que o conhecimento e a sua trans
missão existem para a promoção da sua liberdade e não o inverso. Finalmente, a
liberdade humana somente poderia ser plena e autenticamente exercida caso pro
curasse conhecer e acolher o novo, consertando nas tradições recebidas aquilo que
fosse necessário. Inversamente, o melhor critério para sabermos se um conhecimento
merecesse ser visto como tal é se ele promoveria o sentimento de liberdade entre os
seres humanos. Em suma, liberdade e conhecimento seriam complementares e in
dissociáveis.
Referências
Baç, M. 2000. Strucuture versus Process: Mach, Hertz, and the Normative Aspect of Science.
Journal for General Philosophy of Science 31: 39–56.
Blackmore, J. 1972. Ernst Mach — His Work, Life, and Influence. Berkeley, Los Angeles, Lon
dres: University of California Press.
Boltzmann, L. 2004. Escritos Populares. (Seleção, Tradução e Introdução de Antonio Augusto
Passos Videira) São Leopoldo: Editora da Unisinos.
Garreta, G. 2002. Ernst Mach: l’épistémologie comme historie naturelle de la science. In P.
Wagner (org.) Les philosophes et la science. Paris: Gallimard (Folio/Essais): 624–58.
Mach, E. 1911. History and Root of the Principle of the Conservation of Energy. (Tradução de
Philip. E. B. Jourdain) Chicago/Londres: The Open Court Publishing Co.
———. 1943. Popular Scientific Lectures. (Tradução de Thomas J. McCormack) La Salle (Ill.):
The Open Court Publishing Co.
———. 1949. Desarrolo HistoricoCritico de la Mecanica. (Tradução de José Babini) Buenos
Aires/México: Espasa/Calpe Argentina.
Miguel, L. & Videira, A. A. P. 2008. A Idéia de Evolução como Ponte entre Ciência, História
e Evolução. Ciência & Ambiente (Pensando a Evolução) 36: 71–85.
Wolters, G. 2001. Mach. In W. H. NewtonSmith (ed.) A Companion to the Philosophy of
Science (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy). Londres: Blackwell Publishers: 252–6.
Resumo. Este artigo defende a hipótese de que Ernst Mach (18381916) recorreu ao natu
ralismo (termo que ele não usou) — atitude derivada da sua aceitação da teoria da evolução
de Darwin — como arma contra a metafísica (aqui compreendida como uma atitude em
favor da busca por fundamentação última, fixa e definitiva), já que procuraria estabelecer
critérios de avaliação, incluindo os relativos à escolha de teorias científicas, efetivamente
capazes de serem usados pelos seres humanos.