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Open Access Publications from the University of California

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Cover page of The Orthologic of Epistemic Modals

The Orthologic of Epistemic Modals


Epistemic modals have peculiar logical features that are challenging to account for in a broadly classical framework. For instance, while a sentence of the form $p\wedge\Diamond\neg p$  ('$p$, but it might be that not~$p$') appears to be a contradiction, $\Diamond\neg p$ does not entail $\neg p$, which would follow in classical logic. Likewise, the classical laws of distributivity and disjunctive syllogism fail for  epistemic modals. Existing attempts to account for these facts generally either under- or over-correct. Some theories predict that $p\wedge\Diamond\neg p$, a so-called  epistemic contradiction, is a contradiction only in an etiolated sense, under a notion of entailment that does not always allow us to replace $p\wedge\Diamond\neg p$ with a contradiction; these theories underpredict the infelicity of embedded epistemic contradictions. Other theories savage classical logic, eliminating not just rules that intuitively fail, like distributivity and disjunctive syllogism,  but also rules like non-contradiction, excluded middle, De Morgan's laws, and disjunction introduction, which intuitively remain valid for epistemic modals. In this paper, we aim for a middle ground, developing a semantics and logic for epistemic modals that makes epistemic contradictions genuine contradictions and that invalidates distributivity and disjunctive syllogism but that otherwise preserves classical laws that intuitively remain valid. We start with an algebraic semantics, based on ortholattices instead of Boolean algebras, and then propose a possibility semantics, based on partial possibilities related by compatibility. Both semantics yield the same consequence relation, which we axiomatize. We then show how to lift an arbitrary possible worlds model for a non-modal language to a possibility model for a language with epistemic modals. Further, we  show that we can use this construction to lift standard possible worlds treatments of probabilities and conditionals into possibility semantics. The goal throughout is to retain what is desirable about classical logic while  accounting for the non-classicality of epistemic vocabulary.

Cover page of A fundamental non-classical logic

A fundamental non-classical logic


We give a proof-theoretic as well as a semantic characterization of a logic in the signature with conjunction, disjunction, negation, and the universal and existential quantifiers that we suggest has a certain fundamental status. We present a Fitch-style natural deduction system for the logic that contains only the introduction and elimination rules for the logical constants. From this starting point, if one adds the rule that Fitch called Reiteration, one obtains a proof system for intuitionistic logic in the given signature; if instead of adding Reiteration, one adds the rule of Reductio ad Absurdum, one obtains a proof system for orthologic; by adding both Reiteration and Reductio, one obtains a proof system for classical logic. Arguably neither Reiteration nor Reductio is as intimately related to the meaning of the connectives as the introduction and elimination rules are, so the base logic we identify serves as a more fundamental starting point and common ground between proponents of intuitionistic logic, orthologic, and classical logic. The algebraic semantics for the logic we motivate proof-theoretically is based on bounded lattices equipped with what has been called a weak pseudocomplementation. We show that such lattice expansions are representable using a set together with a reflexive binary relation satisfying a simple first-order condition, which yields an elegant relational semantics for the logic. This builds on our previous study of representations of lattices with negations, which we extend and specialize for several types of negation in addition to weak pseudocomplementation. Finally, we discuss ways of extending these representations to lattices with a conditional or implication operation.

Cover page of B-Frame Duality

B-Frame Duality


This paper introduces the category of b-frames as a new tool in the study of complete lattices. B-frames can be seen as a generalization of posets, which play an important role in the representation theory of Heyting algebras, but also in the study of complete Boolean algebras in forcing. This paper combines ideas from the two traditions in order to generalize some techniques and results to the wider context of complete lattices. In particular, we lift a representation theorem of Allwein and MacCaull to a duality between complete lattices and b-frames, and we derive alternative characterizations of several classes of complete lattices from this duality. This framework is then used to obtain new results in the theory of complete Heyting algebras and the semantics of intuitionistic propositional logic.

Cover page of Split Cycle: A New Condorcet Consistent Voting Method Independent of Clones and Immune to Spoilers

Split Cycle: A New Condorcet Consistent Voting Method Independent of Clones and Immune to Spoilers


We introduce a new Condorcet consistent voting method, called Split Cycle. Split Cycle belongs to the small family of known voting methods satisfying independence of clones and the Pareto principle. Unlike other methods in this family, Split Cycle satisfies a new criterion we call immunity to spoilers, which concerns adding candidates to elections, as well as the known criteria of positive involvement and negative involvement, which concern adding voters to elections. Thus, relative to other clone-independent Paretian methods, Split Cycle mitigates “spoiler effects” and “strong no show paradoxes.”

Cover page of On the Logic of Belief and Propositional Quantification

On the Logic of Belief and Propositional Quantification


We consider extending the modal logic KD45, commonly taken as the baseline system for belief, with propositional quantifiers that can be used to formalize natural language sentences such as “everything I believe is true” or “there is some-thing that I neither believe nor disbelieve.” Our main results are axiomatizations of the logics with propositional quantifiers of natural classes of complete Boolean algebras with an operator (BAOs) validating KD45. Among them is the class of complete, atomic, and completely multiplicative BAOs validating KD45. Hence, by duality, we also cover the usual method of adding propositional quantifiers to normal modal logics by considering their classes of Kripke frames. In addition, we obtain decidability for all the concrete logics we discuss.