Non-classical logic

Non-classical logics (and sometimes alternative logics) is the name given to formal systems that differ in a significant way from standard logical systems such as propositional and predicate logic. There are several ways in which this is done, including by way of extensions, deviations, and variations. The aim of these departures is to make it possible to construct different models of logical consequence and logical truth.[1]

Philosophical logic, especially in theoretical computer science, is understood to encompass and focus on non-classical logics, although the term has other meanings as well.[2]

Examples of non-classical logics

There are many kinds of non-classical logic, which include:

Classification of non-classical logics

In Deviant Logic (1974) Susan Haack divided non-classical logics into deviant, quasi-deviant, and extended logics.[4] The proposed classification is non-exclusive; a logic may be both a deviation and an extension of classical logic.[5] A few other authors have adopted the main distinction between deviation and extension in non-classical logics.[6][7][8] John P. Burgess uses a similar classification but calls the two main classes anti-classical and extra-classical.[9]

In an extension, new and different logical constants are added, for instance the "" in modal logic, which stands for "necessarily."[6] In extensions of a logic,

(See also Conservative extension.)

In a deviation, the usual logical constants are used, but are given a different meaning than usual. Only a subset of the theorems from the classical logic hold. A typical example is intuitionistic logic, where the law of excluded middle does not hold.[8][9]

Additionally, one can identify a variations (or variants), where the content of the system remains the same, while the notation may change substantially. For instance many-sorted predicate logic is considered a just variation of predicate logic.[6]

This classification ignores however semantic equivalences. For instance, Gödel showed that all theorems from intuitionistic logic have an equivalent theorem in the classical modal logic S4. The result has been generalized to superintuitionistic logics and extensions of S4.[10]

The theory of abstract algebraic logic has also provided means to classify logics, with most results having been obtained for propositional logics. The current algebraic hierarchy of propositional logics has five levels, defined in terms of properties of their Leibniz operator: protoalgebraic, (finitely) equivalential, and (finitely) algebraizable.[11]


  1. Logic for philosophy, Theodore Sider
  2. John P. Burgess (2009). Philosophical logic. Princeton University Press. pp. vii–viii. ISBN 978-0-691-13789-6.
  3. da Costa, Newton (1994), Schrödinger logics, Studia Logica, p. 533.
  4. Haack, Susan (1974). Deviant logic: some philosophical issues. CUP Archive. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-521-20500-9.
  5. Haack, Susan (1978). Philosophy of logics. Cambridge University Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-521-29329-7.
  6. 1 2 3 L. T. F. Gamut (1991). Logic, language, and meaning, Volume 1: Introduction to Logic. University of Chicago Press. pp. 156–157. ISBN 978-0-226-28085-1.
  7. Seiki Akama (1997). Logic, language, and computation. Springer. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-7923-4376-9.
  8. 1 2 Robert Hanna (2006). Rationality and logic. MIT Press. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-0-262-08349-2.
  9. 1 2 John P. Burgess (2009). Philosophical logic. Princeton University Press. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-0-691-13789-6.
  10. Dov M. Gabbay; Larisa Maksimova (2005). Interpolation and definability: modal and intuitionistic logics. Clarendon Press. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-19-851174-8.
  11. D. Pigozzi (2001). "Abstract algebraic logic". In M. Hazewinkel. Encyclopaedia of mathematics: Supplement Volume III. Springer. pp. 2–13. ISBN 1-4020-0198-3. Also online: Hazewinkel, Michiel, ed. (2001), "Abstract algebraic logic", Encyclopedia of Mathematics, Springer, ISBN 978-1-55608-010-4

Further reading

External links

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