The lattice of modal logics: An algebraic investigation

Journal of Symbolic Logic 45 (2):221-236 (1980)
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Modal logics are studied in their algebraic disguise of varieties of so-called modal algebras. This enables us to apply strong results of a universal algebraic nature, notably those obtained by B. Jonsson. It is shown that the degree of incompleteness with respect to Kripke semantics of any modal logic containing the axiom □ p → p or containing an axiom of the form $\square^mp \leftrightarrow\square^{m + 1}p$ for some natural number m is 2 ℵ 0 . Furthermore, we show that there exists an immediate predecessor of classical logic (axiomatized by $p \leftrightarrow \square p$ ) which is not characterized by any finite algebra. The existence of modal logics having 2 ℵ 0 immediate predecessors is established. In contrast with these results we prove that the lattice of extensions of S4 behaves much better: a logic extending S4 is characterized by a finite algebra iff it has finitely many extensions and any such logic has only finitely many immediate predecessors, all of which are characterized by a finite algebra



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