Information Loss Versus Information Degradation

Ken Gemes

Deductively valid transitions are truth preserving in the sense that any such transition from true premises yields a true conclusion. It is this truth preserving quality of deductive validity that makes it a much prized quality, truth being one of our central concerns. However deductively valid transitions are not always or even typically information preserving. For instance the transition from (A) Ken is in New York and Alan is in Sydney and Elena is in Rome and . . . and John is in Venice. - imagine the above to be a consistent hundred conjunct conjunction - to the conclusion (B) Elena is in Rome though deductively valid is in an obvious sense not an information preserving transition. (B), for instance, does not preserve the information about Alan’s whereabouts contained in (A).

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