Logical consequence as truth-preservation

Logique and Analyse 183 (4):479-493 (2003)
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Abstract

t is often suggested that truth-preservation is insufficient for logical consequence, and that consequence needs to satisfy a further condition of relevance. Premises and conclusion in a valid consequence must be relevant to one another, and truth-preservation is too coarse-grained a notion to guarantee that. Thus logical consequence is the intersection of truth-preservation and relevance. This situation has the absurd consequence that one might concede that the conclusion of an argument was true (since the argument had true premises and was truth-preserving); yet should refuse to infer the conclusion from the premises, in the absence of demonstration of the relevance of the premises to the conclusion. The error lies in giving insufficient attention to the notion of truth-preservation. Relevance is no separable ingredient in the analysis of logical consequence, but a necessary condition of it. What we show is that if an argument really is truth-preserving, then that in itself is enough to show that the premises are (logically) relevant to the conclusion.

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Stephen Read
University of St. Andrews

Citations of this work

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Formal Logic.A. N. Prior - 1964 - Studia Logica 15:298-301.

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