Negation in Relevant Logics: How I stopped worrying and learned to love the Routley Star

March 1999

“Negation in Relevant Logics: How I stopped worrying and learned to love the Routley Star,” in What is Negation? edited by Dov Gabbay and Heinrich Wansing, Volume 13 in the Applied Logic Series, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pages 53-76, 1999.

Negation raises three thorny problems for anyone seeking to interpret relevant logics. The frame semantics for negation in relevant logics involves a point shift operator *. Problem number one is the interpretation of this operator. Relevant logics commonly interpreted take the inference from A and ~AvB to B to be invalid, because the corresponding relevant conditional A&(~AvB)→B is not a theorem. Yet we often make the inference from A and ~AvB to B, and we seem to be reasoning validly when we do so. Problem number two is explaining what is really going on here. Finally, we can add an operation which Meyer has called Boolean negation to our logic, which is evaluated in the traditional way: x makes A true if and only if x doesn’t make A true. Problem number three involves deciding which is the real negation. How can we decide between orthodox negation and the new, Boolean negation. In this paper, I present a new interpretation of the frame semantics for relevant logics which will allow us to give principled answers to each of these questions.

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I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. I am the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, and the Director of the Arché Philosophical Research Centre for Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology I like thinking about – and helping other people think about – logic and philosophy and the many different ways they can inform each other.


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