Logical Consequence: A Constructivist View

Dag Prawitz

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195148770
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835560 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Logical Consequence: A Constructivist View

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The main question addressed in this chapter is how to analyze the modal ingredient in the concept of logical consequence or logical validity of an inference, here expressed by saying that the truth of the conclusion of a logically valid inference should follow by necessity of thought from the truth of the premisses. It is claimed that this modal ingredient is not taken care of by Tarski’s requirement, later developed in model theory, that for all interpretations of the non-logical terms of the sentences, the conclusion is true if the premisses are. Instead we must bring in reasoning or the notion of proof in the analysis, and it is shown how one may develop a notion of proof or validity of an argument based on the constructive meaning of the logical constants. It is proposed that from a constructive point of view, a sentence is a consequence of a set of premisses if and only if there is a proof in the sense explained of the sentence from the set of premisses. Knowledge of such a proof compels us to hold the conclusion true given that we hold the premisses true.

Keywords: modality; logical consequence; validity; Tarski; model theory; proof; constructive meaning

Chapter.  11630 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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