Two concepts of validity and completeness
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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A formula is (materially) valid iff all its instances are true sentences; and an axiomatic system is called (materially) sound and complete iff it proves all and only valid formulas. These are 'natural' concepts of validity and completeness, which were, however, in the course of the history of modern logic, stealthily replaced by their formal descendants: formal validity and completeness. A formula is formally valid iff it is true under all interpretations in all universes; and an axiomatic system is called formally sound and complete iff it proves all and only formulas valid in this sense. Though the step from material to formal validity and completeness may seem to be merely an unproblematic case of explication, I argue that it is not; and that mistaking the latter concepts for the former ones may lead to serious conceptual confusions.
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