Logical truth

Logical truth is one of the most fundamental concepts in logic. Broadly speaking, a logical truth is a statement which is true regardless of the truth or falsity of its constituent propositions. In other words, a logical truth is a statement which is not only true, but one which is true under all interpretations of its logical components (other than its logical constants). Thus, logical truths such as "if p, then p" can be considered tautologies. Logical truths are thought to be the simplest case of statements which are analytically true (or in other words, true by definition). All of philosophical logic can be thought of as providing accounts of the nature of logical truth, as well as logical consequence.[1]

Logical truths are generally considered to be necessarily true. This is to say that they are such that no situation could arise in which they could fail to be true. The view that logical statements are necessarily true is sometimes treated as equivalent to saying that logical truths are true in all possible worlds. However, the question of whether any statements are necessarily true remains the subject of continued debate.

Treating logical truths, analytic truths, and necessary truths as equivalent, logical truths can be contrasted with facts (which can also be called contingent claims or synthetic claims). Contingent truths are true in this world, but could have turned out otherwise (in other words, they are false in at least one possible world). Logically true propositions such as "If p and q, then p" and "All married people are married" are logical truths because they are true due to their internal structure and not because of any facts of the world (whereas "All married people are happy", even if it were true, could not be true solely in virtue of its logical structure).

Rationalist philosophers have suggested that the existence of logical truths cannot be explained by empiricism, because they hold that it is impossible to account for our knowledge of logical truths on empiricist grounds. Empiricists commonly respond to this objection by arguing that logical truths (which they usually deem to be mere tautologies), are analytic and thus do not purport to describe the world. The latter view was notably defended by the logical positivists in the early 20th century.