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For information about the Group in Logic and the Methodology of Science at UC Berkeley, please visit http://logic.berkeley.edu.

Cover page of Logics of Imprecise Comparative Probability

Logics of Imprecise Comparative Probability

(2021)

This paper studies connections between two alternatives to the standard probability calculus for representing and reasoning about uncertainty: imprecise probability andcomparative probability. The goal is to identify complete logics for reasoning about uncertainty in a comparative probabilistic language whose semantics is given in terms of imprecise probability. Comparative probability operators are interpreted as quantifying over a set of probability measures. Modal and dynamic operators are added for reasoning about epistemic possibility and updating sets of probability measures.

Cover page of Three roads to complete lattices: orders, compatibility, polarity

Three roads to complete lattices: orders, compatibility, polarity

(2020)

This note aims to clarify the relations between three ways of constructing complete lattices that appear in three different areas: (1) using ordered structures, as in set-theoretic forcing, or doubly ordered structures, as in a recent semantics for intuitionistic logic; (2) using compatibility relations, as in semantics for quantum logic based on ortholattices; (3) using Birkhoff’s polarities, as in formal concept analysis.

Cover page of Inquisitive Intuitionistic Logic

Inquisitive Intuitionistic Logic

(2020)

Inquisitive logic is a research program seeking to expand the purview of logic beyond declarative sentences to include the logic of questions. To this end, inquisitive propositional logic extends classical propositional logic for declarative sentences with principles governing a new binary connective of inquisitive disjunction, which allows the formation of questions. Recently inquisitive logicians have considered what happens if the logic of declarative sentences is assumed to be intuitionistic rather than classical. In short, what should inquisitive logic be on an intuitionistic base? In this paper, we provide an answer to this question from the perspective of nuclear semantics, an approach to classical and intuitionistic semantics pursued in our previous work. In particular, we show how Beth semantics for intuitionistic logic naturally extends to a semantics for inquisitive intuitionistic logic. In addition, we show how an explicit view of inquisitive intuitionistic logic comes via a translation into propositional lax logic, whose completeness we prove with respect to Beth semantics.

Cover page of Another Problem in Possible World Semantics

Another Problem in Possible World Semantics

(2020)

In "A Problem in Possible-World Semantics," David Kaplan presented a consistent and intelligible modal principle that cannot be validated by any possible world frame (in the terminology of modal logic, any neighborhood frame). However, Kaplan's problem is tempered by the fact that his principle is stated in a language with propositional quantification, so possible world semantics for the basic modal language without propositional quantifiers is not directly affected, and the fact that on careful inspection his principle does not target the world part of possible world semantics---the atomicity of the algebra of propositions---but rather the idea of propositional quantification over a complete Boolean algebra of propositions. By contrast, in this paper we present a simple and intelligible modal principle, without propositional quantifiers, that cannot be validated by any possible world frame precisely because of their assumption of atomicity (i.e., the principle also cannot be validated by any atomic Boolean algebra expansion). It follows from a theorem of David Lewis that our logic is as simple as possible in terms of modal nesting depth (two). We prove the consistency of the logic using a generalization of possible world semantics known as possibility semantics. We also prove the completeness of the logic (and two other relevant logics) with respect to possibility semantics. Finally, we observe that the logic we identify naturally arises in the study of Peano Arithmetic.

Cover page of Choice-free Stone duality

Choice-free Stone duality

(2020)

The standard topological representation of a Boolean algebra via the clopen sets of a Stone space requires a nonconstructive choice principle, equivalent to the Boolean Prime Ideal Theorem. In this paper, we describe a choice-free topological representation of Boolean algebras. This representation uses a subclass of the spectral spaces that Stone used in his representation of distributive lattices via compact open sets. It also takes advantage of Tarski’s observation that the regular open sets of any topological space form a Boolean algebra. We prove without choice principles that any Boolean algebra arises from a special spectral space X via the compact regular open sets of X; these sets may also be described as those that are both compact open in X and regular open in the upset topology of the specialization order of X, allowing one to apply to an arbitrary Boolean algebra simple reasoning about regular opens of a separative poset. Our representation is therefore a mix of Stone and Tarski, with the two connected by Vietoris: the relevant spectral spaces also arise as the hyperspace of nonempty closed sets of a Stone space endowed with the upper Vietoris topology. This connection makes clear the relation between our point-set topological approach to choice-free Stone duality, which may be called the hyperspace approach, and a point-free approach to choice-free Stone duality using Stone locales. Unlike Stone’s representation of Boolean algebras via Stone spaces, our choice-free topological representation of Boolean algebras does not show that every Boolean algebra can be represented as a field of sets; but like Stone’s representation, it provides the benefit of a topological perspective on Boolean algebras, only now without choice. In addition to representation, we establish a choice-free dual equivalence between the category of Boolean algebras with Boolean homomorphisms and a subcategory of the category of spectral spaces with spectral maps. We show how this duality can be used to prove some basic facts about Boolean algebras.

Cover page of A note on Murakami’s theorems and incomplete social choice without the Pareto principle

A note on Murakami’s theorems and incomplete social choice without the Pareto principle

(2020)

In Arrovian social choice theory assuming the independence of irrelevant alternatives, Murakami (1968) proved two theorems about complete and transitive collective choice rules that satisfy strict non-imposition (citizens’ sovereignty), one being a dichotomy theorem about Paretian or anti-Paretian rules and the other a dictator-or-inverse-dictator impossibility theorem without the Pareto principle. It has been claimed in the later literature that a theorem of Malawski and Zhou (1994) is a generalization of Murakami’s dichotomy theorem and that Wilson’s (1972) impossibility theorem is stronger than Murakami’s impossibility theorem, both by virtue of replacing Murakami’s assumption of strict non-imposition with the assumptions of non-imposition and non-nullness. In this note, we first point out that these claims are incorrect: non-imposition and non-nullness are together equivalent to strict non-imposition for all transitive collective choice rules. We then generalize Murakami’s dichotomy and impossibility theorems to the setting of incomplete social preference. We prove that if one drops completeness from Murakami’s assumptions, his remaining assumptions imply (i) that a collective choice rule is either Paretian, anti-Paretian, or dis-Paretian (unanimous individual preference implies noncomparability) and (ii) that adding proposed constraints on noncomparability, such as the regularity axiom of Eliaz and Ok (2006), restores Murakami’s dictator-or-inverse-dictator result.

Cover page of The Logic of Comparative Cardinality

The Logic of Comparative Cardinality

(2020)

This paper investigates the principles that one must add to Boolean algebra to capture reasoning not only about intersection, union, and omplementation of sets, but also about the relative size of sets. We completely axiomatize such reasoning under the Cantorian definition of relative size in terms of injections.

Cover page of Complete Additivity and Modal Incompleteness

Complete Additivity and Modal Incompleteness

(2019)

In this paper, we tell a story about incompleteness in modal logic. The story weaves together a paper of van Benthem [1979], “Syntactic aspects of modal incompleteness theorems,” and a longstanding open question: whether every normal modal logic can be characterized by a class of completely ad- ditive modal algebras, or as we call them, V-BAOs. Using a first-order reformulation of the property of complete additivity, we prove that the modal logic that starred in van Benthem’s paper resolves the open question in the negative. In addition, for the case of bimodal logic, we show that there is a naturally occurring logic that is incomplete with respect to V-BAOs, namely the provability logic GLB [Japaridze, 1988, Boolos, 1993]. We also show that even logics that are unsound with respect to such algebras do not have to be more complex than the classical propositional calculus. On the other hand, we observe that it is undecidable whether a syntactically defined logic is V-complete. After these results, we generalize the Blok Dichotomy [Blok, 1978] to degrees of V-incompleteness. In the end, we return to van Benthem’s theme of syntactic aspects of modal incompleteness.

Cover page of Algebraic and topological semantics for inquisitive logic via choice-free duality

Algebraic and topological semantics for inquisitive logic via choice-free duality

(2019)

We introduce new algebraic and topological semantics for inquisitive logic. The algebraic semantics is based on special Heyting algebras, which we call inquisitive algebras, with propositional valuations ranging over only the ¬¬-fixpoints of the algebra. We show how inquisitive algebras arise from Boolean algebras: for a given Boolean algebra B, we define its inquisitive extension H(B) and prove that H(B) is the unique inquisitive algebra having B as its algebra of ¬¬-fixpoints. We also show that inquisitive algebras determine Medvedev’s logic of finite problems. In addition to the algebraic characterization of H(B), we give a topological characterization of H(B) in terms of the recently introduced choice-free duality for Boolean algebras using so-called upper Vietoris spaces (UV-spaces). In particular, while a Boolean algebra B is realized as the Boolean algebra of compact regular open elements of a UV-space dual to B, we show that H(B) is realized as the algebra of compact open elements of this space. This connection yields a new topological semantics for inquisitive logic.

Cover page of Arrow's Decisive Coalitions

Arrow's Decisive Coalitions

(2018)

In his classic monograph, Social Choice and Individual Values, Arrow introduced the notion of a decisive coalition of voters as part of his mathematical framework for social choice theory. The subsequent literature on Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem has shown the importance for social choice theory of reasoning about coalitions of voters with different grades of decisiveness. The goal of this paper is a fine-grained analysis of reasoning about decisive coalitions, formalizing how the concept of a decisive coalition gives rise to a social choice theoretic language and logic all of its own. We show that given Arrow’s axioms of the Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives and Universal Domain, rationality postulates for social preference correspond to strong axioms about decisive coalitions. We demonstrate this correspondence with results of a kind familiar in economics—representation theorems—as well as results of a kind coming from mathematical logic—completeness theorems. We present a complete logic for reasoning about decisive coalitions, along with formal proofs of Arrow’s and Wilson’s theorems. In addition, we prove the correctness of an algorithm for calculating, given any social rationality postulate of a certain form in the language of binary preference, the corresponding axiom in the language of decisive coalitions. These results suggest for social choice theory new perspectives and tools from logic.