There is More to Negation than Modality

Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (2):281-299 (2018)
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Abstract

There is a relatively recent trend in treating negation as a modal operator. One such reason is that doing so provides a uniform semantics for the negations of a wide variety of logics and arguably speaks to a longstanding challenge of Quine put to non-classical logics. One might be tempted to draw the conclusion that negation is a modal operator, a claim Francesco Berto, 761–793, 2015) defends at length in a recent paper. According to one such modal account, the negation of a sentence is true at a world x just in case all the worlds at which the sentence is true are incompatible with x. Incompatibility is taken to be the key notion in the account, and what minimal properties a negation has comes down to which minimal conditions incompatibility satisfies. Our aims in this paper are twofold. First, we wish to point out problems for the modal account that make us question its tenability on a fundamental level. Second, in its place we propose an alternative, non-modal, account of negation as a contradictory-forming operator that we argue is superior to, and more natural than, the modal account.

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Citations of this work

Negation on the Australian Plan.Francesco Berto & Greg Restall - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 48 (6):1119-1144.
Why Must Incompatibility Be Symmetric?Ryan Simonelli - 2024 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (2):658-682.
On Negation for Non-classical Set Theories.S. Jockwich Martinez & G. Venturi - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (3):549-570.
Inferential Constants.Camillo Fiore, Federico Pailos & Mariela Rubin - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 52 (3):767-796.

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Philosophy of Logic.W. V. O. Quine - 2005-01-01 - In José Medina & David Wood (eds.), Truth. Blackwell.

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