Stoic Logic Allows Understanding a Priori Falsity in the Conditional


  • Miguel López-Astorga University of Talca, Chile



a priori falsity, Chrysippus of Soli, connexive implication, conditional, Stoic logic


An issue to explain in cognitive science is nowadays the case of certain conditionals that people seem to deem as a priori false. Those conditionals appear to be false by virtue of semantics: the meanings of their antecedents and their consequents seem not to admit any link between them. This is a problem because, from the point of view of classical logic, they are not always false; there can be situations in which they are true (as classical logic provides, whenever their antecedents are false, those conditionals in entirety are true). There are contemporary frameworks explaining this phenomenon (e.g., the theory of mental models). However, this paper tries to make the point that the solution might be already in ancient philosophy: in particular, in Chrysippus’ logic. Thus, the paper describes in details (1) why those conditionals are controversial in classical logic and (2) the account that can be given for them from Chrysippus’ philosophy. That account is based mainly on the Stoic idea that the negation of the second clause of a conditional should not be compatible with its first clause.

Author Biography

Miguel López-Astorga, University of Talca, Chile

Full Professor and Researcher at the Institute of Humanistic Studies, University of Talca