Sahlqvist theory for impossible worlds

Alessandra Palmigiano, Sumit Sourabh, Zhiguang Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


We extend unified correspondence theory to Kripke frames with impossible worlds and their associated regular modal logics. These are logics the modal connectives of which are not required to be normal: only the weaker properties of additivity ◊x∨◊y=◊(x∨y) and multiplicativity □x∧□y=□(x∧y) are required. Conceptually, it has been argued that their lacking necessitation makes regular modal logics better suited than normal modal logics at the formalization of epistemic and deontic settings. From a technical viewpoint, regularity proves to be very natural and adequate for the treatment of algebraic canonicity Jónsson-style. Indeed, additivity and multiplicativity turn out to be key to extend Jónsson’s original proof of canonicity to the full Sahlqvist class of certain regular distributive modal logics naturally generalizing distributive modal logic. Most interestingly, additivity and multiplicativity are key to Jónsson-style canonicity also in the original (i.e. normal DML. Our contributions include: the definition of Sahlqvist inequalities for regular modal logics on a distributive lattice propositional base; the proof of their canonicity following Jónsson’s strategy; the adaptation of the algorithm ALBA to the setting of regular modal logics on two non-classical (distributive lattice and intuitionistic) bases; the proof that the adapted ALBA is guaranteed to succeed on a syntactically defined class which properly includes the Sahlqvist one; finally, the application of the previous results so as to obtain proofs, alternative to Kripke’s, of the strong completeness of Lemmon’s epistemic logics E2-E5 with respect to elementary classes of Kripke frames with impossible worlds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775–816
JournalJournal of Logic and Computation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Regular modal logics
  • epistemic logic
  • algebraic Sahlqvist canonicity
  • algorithmic correspondence
  • regular inductive formulas and inequalities
  • Lemmon’s logics E2-E5


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