Classical logic

Classical logic

Classical logic identifies a class of formal logics that have been most intensively studied and most widely used. The class is sometimes called standard logic as well.[1][2] They are characterised by a number of properties:[3]

  1. Law of the excluded middle and Double negative elimination;
  2. Law of noncontradiction, and the principle of explosion;
  3. Monotonicity of entailment and Idempotency of entailment;
  4. Commutativity of conjunction;
  5. De Morgan duality: every logical operator is dual to another;

While not entailed by the preceding conditions, contemporary discussions of classical logic normally only include propositional and first-order logics.[4][5]

The intended semantics of classical logic is bivalent. With the advent of algebraic logic it became apparent however that classical propositional calculus admits other semantics. In Boolean-valued semantics (for classical propositional logic), the truth values are the elements of an arbitrary Boolean algebra; "true" corresponds to the maximal element of the algebra, and "false" corresponds to the minimal element. Intermediate elements of the algebra correspond to truth values other than "true" and "false". The principle of bivalence holds only when the Boolean algebra is taken to be the two-element algebra, which has no intermediate elements.


Examples of classical logics

  • Aristotle's Organon introduces his theory of syllogisms, which is a logic with a restricted form of judgments: assertions take one of four forms, All Ps are Q, Some Ps are Q, No Ps are Q, and Some Ps are not Q. These judgments find themselves if two pairs of two dual operators, and each operator is the negation of another, relationships that Aristotle summarised with his square of oppositions. Aristotle explicitly formulated the law of the excluded middle and law of non-contradiction in justifying his system, although these laws cannot be expressed as judgments within the syllogistic framework.
  • George Boole's algebraic reformulation of logic, his system of Boolean logic;
  • The first-order logic found in Gottlob Frege's Begriffsschrift.

Non-classical logics

In Deviant Logic, Fuzzy Logic: Beyond the Formalism, Susan Haack divided non-classical logics into deviant, quasi-deviant, and extended logics.[5]


  1. ^ Nicholas Bunnin; Jiyuan Yu (2004). The Blackwell dictionary of Western philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 266. ISBN 9781405106795. 
  2. ^ L. T. F. Gamut (1991). Logic, language, and meaning, Volume 1: Introduction to Logic. University of Chicago Press. pp. 156–157. ISBN 9780226280851. 
  3. ^ Gabbay, Dov, (1994). 'Classical vs non-classical logic'. In D.M. Gabbay, C.J. Hogger, and J.A. Robinson, (Eds), Handbook of Logic in Artificial Intelligence and Logic Programming, volume 2, chapter 2.6. Oxford University Press.
  4. ^ Shapiro, Stewart (2000). Classical Logic. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [Web]. Stanford: The Metaphysics Research Lab. Retrieved October 28, 2006, from
  5. ^ a b Haack, Susan, (1996). Deviant Logic, Fuzzy Logic: Beyond the Formalism. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Further reading

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