A Syntactical Analysis of Lewis’s Triviality Result

Claudio E. A. Pizzi

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/LLP.2021.006


The first part of the paper contains a probabilistic axiomatic extension of the conditional system WV, here named WVPr. This system is extended with the axiom (Pr4): PrA = 1 ⊃ □A. The resulting system, named WVPr∗, is proved to be consistent and non-trivial, in the sense that it does not contain the wff (Triv): A ≡□A. Extending WVPr∗ with the so-called Generalized Stalnaker’s Thesis (GST) yields the (first) Lewis’s Triviality Result (LTriv) in the form (◊(A ∧ B) ∧◊(A ∧ ¬B)) ⊃ PrB|A = PrB. In §4 it is shown that a consequence of this theorem is the thesis (CT1): ¬A ⊃ (A > B ⊃ A ⥽ B). It is then proven that (CT1) subjoined to the conditional system WVPr∗ yields the collapse formula (Triv). The final result is that WVPr∗+(GST) is equivalent to WVPr∗+(Triv). In the last section a discussion is opened about the intuitive and philosophical plausibility of axiom (Pr4) and its role in the derivation of (Triv).


conditionals; conditional probability; Stalnaker’s Thesis; triviality; collapse of modalities

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ISSN: 1425-3305 (print version)

ISSN: 2300-9802 (electronic version)

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