Entailment and bivalence

Journal of Philosophical Logic 31 (4):289-300 (2002)
Abstract
My purpose in this paper is to argue that the classical notion of entailment is not suitable for non-bivalent logics, to propose an appropriate alternative and to suggest a generalized entailment notion suitable to bivalent and non-bivalent logics alike. In classical two valued logic, one can not infer a false statement from one that is not false, any more than one can infer from a true statement a statement that is not true. In classical logic in fact preserving truth and preserving non-falsity are one and the same thing. They are not the same in non-bivalent logics however and I will argue that the classical notion of entailment that preserves only truth is not strong enough for such a logic. I will show that if we retain the classical notion of entailment in a logic that has three values, true, false and a third value in between, an inconsistency can be derived that can be resolved only by measures that seriously disable the logic. I will show this for a logic designed to allow for semantic presuppositions, then I will show that we get the same result in any three valued logic with the same value ordering. I will finally suggest how the notion of entailment should be generalized so that this problem may be avoided. The strengthened notion of entailment I am proposing is a conservative extension of the classical notion that preserves not only truth but the order of all values in a logic, so that the value of an entailed statement must alway be at least as great as the value of the sequence of statements entailing it. A notion of entailment this strong or stronger will, I believe, be found to be applicable to non-classical logics generally. In the opinion of Dana Scott, no really workable three valued logic has yet been developed. It is hard to disagree with this. A workable three valued logic however could perhaps be developed however, if we had a notion of entailment suitable to non-bivalent logics
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