Talk of interest on 10/27: Dorr and Mandelkern

Logic Colloquium talk this week

Cian Dorr and Matthew Mandelkern (NYU Philosophy)

“The Logic of Sequences”

Friday, October 27, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

hybrid: ROWE 320 and Zoom (link below)



In the course of proving a tenability result about the probabilities of conditionals, van Fraassen (1976) introduced a semantics for conditionals based on sequences of worlds, representing a particularly simple special case of ordering semantics for conditionals. According to sequence semantics, ‘If p, then q’ is true at a sequence just in case either q is true at the first truncation of the sequence where p is true, or there is no truncation where p is true. This approach has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, its logic has never been explored. We axiomatize the logic of sequence semantics, showing that it is the result of adding two new axioms to Stalnaker’s logic C2: one which is prima facie attractive, and one which is complex and difficult to assess.  We also show that when sequence models are generalized to allow transfinite sequences, the result is the logic that adds only the first (more attractive) axiom to C2.