Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy The propositional logic of ordinary discourse1

  • Cooper W
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Abstract

The logical properties of the 'if-then' connective of ordinary English differ markedly from the logical properties of the material conditional of classical, two-valued logic. This becomes apparent upon examination of arguments in conversational English which involve (noncounterfactual) usages of if-then'. A nonclassical system of propositional logic is presented, whose conditional connective has logical prop- erties approximating those of 'if-then'. This proposed system reduces, in a sense, to the classical logic. Moreover, because it is equivalent to a certain nonstandard three-valued logic, its decision procedure is almost as efficient as that of the classical logic. It therefore provides a rational and convenient system in which to formalize English arguments.

Author-supplied keywords

  • biconditional event
  • conditional event
  • pARIs

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Authors

  • William S Cooper

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