Event Detail

Wed Feb 7, 2024
Philosophy 234
6–8 PM
Working Group in the History and Philosophy of Logic, Mathematics, and Science
Matthew Mandelkern (NYU)
The Logic of Sequences

In the course of proving a tenability result about the probabilities of conditionals, van Fraassen (1976) introduced a semantics for conditionals based on sequences of worlds, representing a particularly simple special case of ordering semantics for conditionals. According to sequence semantics, ‘If p, then q’ is true at a sequence just in case q is true at the longest truncation of the sequence where p is true (if there is one). This approach has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, its logic has never been explored. We axiomatize the logic of sequence semantics, showing that it strengthens the Stalnakerian logic C2 in two ways: one which is prima facie attractive, and one which is surprisingly complex and difficult to assess. (Joint work with Cian Dorr.)