Nonmonotonic Reasoning and Changes of Belief

  • Gerhard Schurz
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 59)


Deductive reasoning is truth-preserving reasoning, that is, a deductive inference from a premise set Prem to a conclusion Con, Prem ⊢ Con, is valid if and only if it holds in every possible situation, or ‘model’ respectively, that whenever the premises are true, the conclusion is true. As a consequence, deductive reasoning is monotonic, that is, whenever Prem ⊢ Con is valid, then also X, Prem ⊢ Con remains valid for every possible new information expressed by a sentence X, may X be true or false. So the validity of a deductive inference is independent from any possible information not contained in the premise set, and hence independent from the context of background knowledge. In this sense, the validity of a deductive inference is a ‘local’, or a ‘modular’ notion, and not a ‘global’, or a ‘holistic’ notion.1


Deductive Reasoning Belief Change Nonmonotonic Reasoning Deductive Inference Material Implication 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

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  • Gerhard Schurz

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