A New–old Characterisation of Logical Knowledge

History and Philosophy of Logic 33 (3):245 - 290 (2012)
Abstract
We seek means of distinguishing logical knowledge from other kinds of knowledge, especially mathematics. The attempt is restricted to classical two-valued logic and assumes that the basic notion in logic is the proposition. First, we explain the distinction between the parts and the moments of a whole, and theories of ?sortal terms?, two theories that will feature prominently. Second, we propose that logic comprises four ?momental sectors?: the propositional and the functional calculi, the calculus of asserted propositions, and rules for (in)valid deduction, inference or substitution. Third, we elaborate on two neglected features of logic: the various modes of negating some part(s) of a proposition R, not only its ?external? negation not-R; and the assertion of R in the pair of propositions ?it is (un)true that R? belonging to the neglected logic of asserted propositions, which is usually left unstated. We also address the overlooked task of testing the asserted truth-value of R. Fourth, we locate logic among other foundational studies: set theory and other theories of collections, metamathematics, axiomatisation, definitions, model theory, and abstract and operator algebras. Fifth, we test this characterisation in two important contexts: the formulation of some logical paradoxes, especially the propositional ones; and indirect proof-methods, especially that by contradiction. The outcomes differ for asserted propositions from those for unasserted ones. Finally, we reflect upon self-referring self-reference, and on the relationships between logical and mathematical knowledge. A subject index is appended
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