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Lecture 10 logic

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Formal Logic

Lecture 10

Peter Smith

Outline

Expressive adequacy

The basic adequacy theorem

De Morgans Laws

Other adequate sets of connectives

The material conditional again

( )

T T T

T F F

F T T

F F T

truth-functional conditional: the best shot at an if-like

truth-function rendering indicative conditionals.

The material conditional again

I We noted yesterday some apparent divergencies between

ordinary if and the truth-functional . Here are two more

examples.

I Note that the following two arguments are trivially valid by

the truth-table test

A. P hence (P Q )

B. Q hence (P Q )

But compare

A0 . The bomb will not drop; hence if it drops, we survive.

B0 . I will ski tomorrow; hence if I break my leg today, I will ski

tomorrow

Can we deal with these by treating future indicatives as

possible world conditionals??? What about . . .

A00 . It isnt cold; hence if it is cold then its hot.

B00 . It is hot; hence if it is cold then it is hot.

The material conditional again

I There are close connections but also apparent differences

between if and .

I A suggestion: we use if P, then Q to both (a) assert

(P Q ), and (b) signal that we are prepared to use modus

ponens.

I That explains why the inference P hence if P then Q strikes

us as unacceptable. For while P warrants (P Q ), we

wouldnt be prepared to use modus ponens with the material

conditional if P is our reason for believing it. If we discover

that in fact P, we wouldnt go on to use modus ponens to

conclude Q, wed retract (P Q )!

I For more discussion of the relationship, see IFL, Ch. 15.

I Warning: translating if by arguably doesnt capture all

the content of the ordinary language conditional (though

maybe the translation gets the truth-relevant content right).

Peter Smith: Formal Logic, Lecture 10 5

Only if and the biconditional

Expressive adequacy

The basic adequacy theorem

De Morgans Laws

Other adequate sets of connectives

Only if and the biconditional

Only if

I Suppose If P, then Q. Then Ps truth gives us the truth of Q

too so that means we only get P if we get Q too, i.e. P

only if Q.

I Suppose P only if Q. Then if we have P true then we get Q

too, i.e. If P, then Q.

I In sum, (in many cases) If P, then Q is equivalent to P only if

Q.

I For example: compare If Einstein is right, the velocity of light

is constant and Einstein is right only if the velocity of light is

constant.

Only if and the biconditional

If and only if

cases) to Q only if P is equivalent to Only if P, Q.

I But of course P, if Q is not equivalent to P, only if Q.

I The joint assertion of P, if Q and P, only if Q i.e. the

assertion P if and only if Q is the biconditional.

Only if and the biconditional

(or an equivalent).

I The only truth functional rendition of P, if Q is (Q P ) (or

an equivalent).

I The only truth functional rendition of P if and only if Q is

therefore ((P Q ) (Q P )) (or an equivalent)

I Call that the material biconditional.

Only if and the biconditional

biconditional

(( ) ( )) ( )

T T t T t T

T F f F t F

F T t F f F

F F t T t T

, , , , .

But why stop there?

Expressive adequacy

Expressive adequacy

The basic adequacy theorem

De Morgans Laws

Other adequate sets of connectives

Expressive adequacy

Examples so far

using the basic three connectives. ( ) is equivalent to

(( ) (( )).

I Likewise, ( ) is equivalent to ( ) and to

( ). So we dont need to add a new connective to

express the material conditional.

I Similarly, we dont need to add a new connective to express

the material biconditional. We can express the truth-function

( ) using and , and hence , and .

Expressive adequacy

Generalizing

The point now generalizes:

Every truth-functional combination of atomic wffs can be

expressed using just , and .

I Definition: A truth-functional combination of atomic wffs is

one whose truth-value is determined for each assignment of

values to its atoms.

I Equivalently: A truth-functional combination of atomic wffs is

one that can be defined by a truth-table.

I The result that every truth-functional combination of atomic

wffs can be expressed using just , and is often put

this way: the set of connectives , and is expressively

adequate.

I The result is a metalogical theorem.

Expressive adequacy

I The result to be proved is essentially this. If we define a new

connective by a truth-table, then we can mock-up an

equivalent to any wff involving that connective using ,

and .

I For example, suppose the connective is defined by

P Q R (P, Q, R )

T T T F

T T F T

T F T F

T F F F

F T T F

F T F T

F F T T

F F F F

Expressive adequacy

Now, take the lines on which (P, Q, R ) is true and write down

the conjunction which describes that line (well be careless about

brackets to promote readability):

P Q R (P, Q, R )

T T T F

T T F T (P Q R )

T F T F

T F F F

F T T F

F T F T (P Q R )

F F T T (P Q R )

F F F F

Expressive adequacy

Now write down the disjunction of the conjunctions which

describe the lines where (P, Q, R ) is true (again being careless

about brackets to promote readability):

P Q R (P, Q, R )

T T T F

T T F T (P Q R )

T F T F

T F F F

F T T F

F T F T (P Q R )

F F T T (P Q R )

F F F F

((P Q R ) (P Q R ) (P Q R ))

is then true on exactly the same lines as (P, Q, R ) .

Peter Smith: Formal Logic, Lecture 10 16

Expressive adequacy

negated atoms to describe each line with (P, Q, R ) is true,

and then disjoin the results.

I That works for any table defining any connective

connecting any number of atoms unless generates a

contradiction and is always false. But obviously we can write

down an always-false wff using just , and .

I So every truth-function can be expressed just using ,

and . QED

Expressive adequacy

De Morgans Laws

Now note we have the following:

( ) ( )

T T T T f

T F F F t

F T F F t

F F F F t

( ) ( )

T T T T f

T F F T f

F T F T f

F F F F t

So can be defined in terms of and .

So can be defined in terms of and .

Peter Smith: Formal Logic, Lecture 10 18

Expressive adequacy

I The set of connectives {, , } is expressively adequate

i.e. gives us enough to express every truth-function. [This is

the key result.]

I Since we can define can be defined in terms of and

, the set of connectives {, } is expressively adequate.

I Since we can define can be defined in terms of and

, the set of connectives {, } is expressively adequate.

I We can also define and in terms of and , so the

set of connectives {, } is expressively adequate.

I The set of connectives {, } is not expressively adequate.

I Theres a two-place connective (the Sheffer stroke) in terms

of which we can define , and . So the Sheffer stroke

is expressively adequate all by itself. (IFL, ch. 11.8)

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