Implicit definition and the application of logic

Philosophical Studies 158 (1):131-148 (2012)
The paper argues that the theory of Implicit Definition cannot give an account of knowledge of logical principles. According to this theory, the meanings of certain expressions are determined such that they make certain principles containing them true; this is supposed to explain our knowledge of the principles as derived from our knowledge of what the expressions mean. The paper argues that this explanation succeeds only if Implicit Definition can account for our understanding of the logical constants, and that fully understanding a logical constant in turn requires the ability to apply it correctly in particular cases. It is shown, however, that Implicit Definition cannot account for this ability, even if it draws on introduction rules for the logical constants. In particular, Implicit Definition cannot account for our ability to apply negation in particular cases. Owing to constraints relating to the unique characterisation of logical constants, invoking the notion of rejection does not remedy the situation. Given its failure to explain knowledge of logic, the prospects of Implicit Definition to explain other kinds of a priori knowledge are even worse
Keywords A priori knowledge  Knowledge of logic  Implicit definition  Understanding  Negation  Rejection
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9675-0
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Saul Kripke (2010). Naming and Necessity. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge 431-433.

View all 40 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Kathrin Glüer (2003). Analyticity and Implicit Definition. Grazer Philosophische Studien 66 (1):37-60.
Corine Besson (2010). Understanding the Logical Constants and Dispositions. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5 (1):1-24.
Corine Besson (2009). Logical Knowledge and Gettier Cases. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):1-19.
Arvid Båve (2011). How To Precisify Quantifiers. Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (1):103-111.
Bernhard Weiss (2003). Knowledge of Meaning. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (1):75–92.
Bernhard Weiss (2004). Knowledge of Meaning. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (1):75 - 94.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

110 ( #26,944 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #183,615 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.