Reflections on Brady's Logic of Meaning Containment

January 2024

Reflections on Brady's Logic of Meaning Containment (article in progress)

This paper is a series of reflections on Ross Brady’s favourite substructural logic, the logic MC of meaning containment. In the first section, I describe some of the distinctive features of MC, including depth relevance, and its principled rejection of some con- cepts that have been found useful in many substructural logics, namely intensional or multiplicative conjunction (sometimes known as ‘fusion’), the Church constants (⊤ and ⊥), and the Ackermann constants (t and f). A further distinctive feature of the axiomatic formulation of MC is its meta-rule, which is a unique feature of MC Hilbert proofs. This meta-rule gives rise to one further special property of MC, in that the logic is distributive in one sense, and non-distributive in another. The distribution of additive conjunction over disjunction (the step from p∧(q∨r) to (p∧q)∨(p∧r)) holds in MC as a rule, but not as a provable conditional, and in this way, MC is distinctive among popular substructural logics. (Anderson and Belnap’s favourite logics R and E are distributive in both senses, while Girard’s linear logic is distributive in neither.)

In this paper, I aim to increase our understanding of each of these distinctive features of MC, giving an account of what it might take for a propositional logic to meet these constraints. I will start with a presentation of Hilbert proofs for MC, and then showing how Brady Lattices (a natural class of algebraic models for MC) can help us understand each of these special features of Brady’s logic of meaning containment.

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You are welcome to download and read this document. I especially welcome feedback on it. As it is not yet published in final form, if you want to cite the paper, please check with me first. Thanks.


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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