I deduce you are studying logic

This summer I was at LC2015, the big European logic conference (it was great). I was sitting listening to a talk with one of my logic buddies when the speaker mentioned “deontic logic”, which is a fancy Greek name for the logic of obligations.

A thought popped into my mind; I turned to my friend and whispered, “you ought to study deontic logic”. Ha ha ha! A self-referential statement!

My friend wasn’t exactly convulsed with laughter but never mind. A whole research program opened up before me – self descriptive “studying <adjective> logic” sentences.

I found two more right away:

I believe you are studying doxastic logic.

I know you are studying epistemic logic.

That exhausted my knowledge of Greek based technical terms; but more examples came to  mind:

Odds are you are studying probabilistic logic.

You have been studying temporal logic.

You are 73% studying fuzzy logic.

You are studying paraconsistent logic and you are not studying paraconsistent logic.

And then of course

It is possible that you are studying modal logic.

And its generalization

Maybe perhaps possibly you are studying multimodal logic.

At that point I had to start thinking. Hmmm … intuitionistic logic? One of its properties is that double negation is not identity. So…

You aren’t not studying intuitionistic logic.

Which I understand to mean that no one can catch you not studying intuitionistic logic … or something like that.

How about linear logic? One of its distinguishing properties is that you count multiple occurrences of a hypothesis. This gives

You are studying linear logic, you are studying linear logic.

Working backwards this way I built quite a list, each more hilarious than the previous one. I  leave it as an exercise to figure out how they work (some are subtle).

I observed you studying quantum logic.

I have hard evidence that you are studying constructive logic.

One of the things you are doing is studying second order logic.

(combinator logic) you study.

You look puzzled; you must be studying abductive logic.

You are studying and the topic is monadic logic.

You deny it, but I say you are studying dialectical logic.

Enough. Can you do better? More examples, or better sentences? Leave them in the comments and I’ll post any that make sense.

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About Bill Wadge

I am a Professor in Computer Science at UVic.
This entry was posted in musings. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to I deduce you are studying logic

  1. I prefer using infinitesimal logic.

  2. Shahram Esmaeilsabzali says:

    Invariantly, you are studying Hoare logic.

  3. Jordan says:

    I see you’re studying Nozick’s logic; how well does it work for people like you?

  4. Kenji says:

    Either you are studying boolean algebra, or you are not.
    I derive that you are studying calculus.

  5. Truly, you are not studying boolean logic

  6. You are studying logic, some logic is Aristotelian, you are studying Aristotelian logic

  7. DM says:

    The sort of logic you are studying is order-sorted logic which is a kind of first-order logic with quantifiers.

  8. AJ says:

    You’re either studying boolean logic or you aren’t

  9. Morgan Engel says:

    You are studying formal logic, therefore you are studying logic.

  10. JoshH says:

    I know that you are not studying anything other than deductive logic.

  11. inopinatus says:

    I heard you were using Pro Logic.

  12. inopinatus says:

    I’m sick of all these illogical statements.

  13. Gabriel De Repentigny says:

    write(‘You are studying Prolog’).

  14. furroy says:

    This is my favorite tautology.

  15. JoshH says:

    That thing that you are studying… we call it denotational logic.

  16. joatblog says:

    I am studying self-referential logic.

  17. nnpeti says:

    I found by chance an archived discussion on comp.lang.lisp that went like so, and I think that it could make you convulsed with laughter:

    >> (“Deontinc”? I haven’t heard that word before, though I get the intended
    >> meaning.)
    > I think people have a moral obligation to spell “deontic” correctly.

    https://groups.google.com/d/msg/comp.lang.lisp/HMd9O3w8k74/uKgjyGt-jCcJ

  18. doctorsnorky says:

    How would you feel about switching to psychology?

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