Synthese

, Volume 191, Issue 15, pp 3473–3500 | Cite as

Context and consequence. An intercontextual substructural logic

Article

Abstract

Some apparently valid arguments crucially rely on context change. To take a kind of example first discussed by Frege, ‘Tomorrow, it’ll be sunny’ taken on a day seems to entail ‘Today, it’s sunny’ taken on the next day, but the first sentence taken on a day sadly does not seem to entail the second sentence taken on the second next day. Mid-argument context change has not been accounted for by the tradition that has extensively studied the distinctive logical properties of context-dependent languages, for that tradition has focussed on arguments whose premises and conclusions are taken at the same context. I first argue for the desiderability of having a logic that accounts for mid-argument context change and I explain how one can informally understand such context change in a standard framework in which the relation of logical consequence holds among sentences. I then propose a family of simple temporal “intercontextual” logics that adequately model the validity of certain arguments in which the context changes. In particular, such logics validate the apparently valid argument in the Fregean example. The logics lack many traditional structural properties (reflexivity, contraction, commutativity etc.) as a consequence of the logical significance acquired by the sequence structure of premises and conclusions. The logics are however strong enough to capture in the form of logical truths all the valid arguments of both classical logic and Kaplan-style “intracontextual” logic. Finally, I extend the framework by introducing new operations into the object language, such as intercontextual conjunction, disjunction and implication, which, contrary to intracontextual conjunction, disjunction and implication, perfectly match the metalinguistic, intercontextual notions of premise combination, conclusion combination and logical consequence by representing their respective two operands as taken at different contexts.

Keywords

Context change Context dependence Logical consequence  Logical-consequence bearers Substructural logics Temporal conjunction  Tense logic 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LOGOS, Logic, Language and Cognition Research Group, Department of Logic, History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Northern Institute of Philosophy, Department of PhilosophyUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

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