Combinatorial Bitstring Semantics for Arbitrary Logical Fragments

Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (2):325-363 (2018)
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Abstract

Logical geometry systematically studies Aristotelian diagrams, such as the classical square of oppositions and its extensions. These investigations rely heavily on the use of bitstrings, which are compact combinatorial representations of formulas that allow us to quickly determine their Aristotelian relations. However, because of their general nature, bitstrings can be applied to a wide variety of topics in philosophical logic beyond those of logical geometry. Hence, the main aim of this paper is to present a systematic technique for assigning bitstrings to arbitrary finite fragments of formulas in arbitrary logical systems, and to study the logical and combinatorial properties of this technique. It is based on the partition of logical space that is induced by a given fragment, and sheds new light on a number of interesting issues, such as the logic-dependence of the Aristotelian relations and the subtle interplay between the Aristotelian and Boolean structure of logical fragments. Finally, the bitstring technique also allows us to systematically analyze fragments from contemporary logical systems, such as public announcement logic, which could not be done before.

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