The logic instinct

Mind and Language 25 (1):30-65 (2010)
We present a series of arguments for logical nativism, focusing mainly on the meaning of disjunction in human languages. We propose that all human languages are logical in the sense that the meaning of linguistic expressions corresponding to disjunction (e.g. English or , Chinese huozhe, Japanese ka ) conform to the meaning of the logical operator in classical logic, inclusive- or . It is highly implausible, we argue, that children acquire the (logical) meaning of disjunction by observing how adults use disjunction. Findings from studies of child language acquisition and from cross-linguistic research invite the conclusion that children do not learn to be logical—it comes naturally to them.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2009.01380.x
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W. V. Quine (1992). Pursuit of Truth. Harvard University Press.

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