Modal Logics A Summary of the Well-Behaved

Modal logic is an enormous subject, and so any discussion of it must limit itself according to some set of principles. Modal logic is of interest to mathematicians, philosophers, linguists and computer scientists, for somewhat different reasons. Typically a philosopher may be interested in capturing some aspect of necessary truth, while a mathematician may be interested in characterizing a class of models having special structural features. For a computer scientist there is another criterion that is not as relevant for the other disciplines: a logic should be ‘well-behaved.’ This is, admittedly, a vague notion, but some things are clear enough. A logic that can be axiomatized is better than one that can’t be; a logic with a simple axiomatization is better yet; and a logic with a reasonably implementable proof procedure is best of all. My current interests are largely centered in computer science, and so I will only discuss well-behaved modal logics. My talk is organized into three sections, depending on the expressiveness of the modal logics considered: propositional; first-order with rigid designators; first-order with non-rigid designators. Even limited as I have said, the subject is a big one, and this talk can be no more than an outline. For a general discussion of propositional modal logic see [2]; for this and first-order modal logic see [9], [10] and [8]; for tableau systems in modal logic see [6].
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