David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Grazer Philosophische Studien 72 (1):233-252 (2006)
The paper is concerned with negation in artificial and natural languages. "Negation" is an ambiguous word. It can mean three different things: An operation(negating), an operator (a sign of negation), the result of an operation. The threethings, however, are intimately linked. An operation such as negation, is realizedthrough an operator of negation, i.e. consists in adding a symbol of negation to an entity to obtain an entity of the same type; and which operation it is dependson what it applies to and on what results from its application.I argue that negation is not an operation on linguistic acts but rather anoperation on the objects of linguistic acts, namely sentences. And I assume that the negation of a sentence is a sentence that contradicts it. If so, the negation of a sentence may be obtained, in case the sentence is molecular, by applying the operation of negation not to the sentence itself but to a constituent sentence. To put it in a succinct and paradoxically sounding way we could say that in order to negate a sentence it is sufficient but not necessary to negate it.However that negation applies to sentences is true only for artificial languages, in which the sign of negation is a monadic sentential connective. In natural language, negation applies to expressions other than sentences, namely word sand non-sentential phrases. Still words and not sentential phrases are interesting and valuable only as ultimate or immediate constituents of sentences, as a means of saying (something that can be true or false) and the concern with negation is ultimately the concern with the negation of sentences. So the problem is what sub-sentential and non sentential expressions negation should apply to in order to obtain the negation of the containing sentence. The standard answer is that the negation of a natural language sentence is equivalent to the negation of its predicate. Yet, I argue, predicate negation is necessary but not sufficient, due to the existence of molecular sentences.Finally I notice that if to apply negation to an artificial sentence is to put the negation sign in front of it, to negate the predicate of a natural language sentencemay or may not be to put the negation sign in front of it.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Wolfgang Künne (2010). Replies to Paul Boghossian and Kevin Mulligan. Dialectica 64 (4):585-615.
Similar books and articles
Nicholas Unwin (1999). Quasi-Realism, Negation and the Frege-Geach Problem. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (196):337-352.
David Ripley (2011). Negation, Denial, and Rejection. Philosophy Compass 6 (9):622-629.
Graham Priest, Dialetheism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Rick Dale & Nicholas D. Duran (2011). The Cognitive Dynamics of Negated Sentence Verification. Cognitive Science 35 (5):983-996.
Hartry Field (2005). Is the Liar Sentence Both True and False? In J. C. Beall & Bradley Armour-Garb (eds.), Deflationism and Paradox. Clarendon Press.
Amy Franklin & Anastasia Giannakidou (2011). Negation, Questions, and Structure Building in a Homesign System. Cognition 118 (3):398-416.
Marie la Palme Reyes, John Macnamara, Gonzalo E. Reyes & And Houman Zolfaghari (1994). The Non-Boolean Logic of Natural Language Negation. Philosophia Mathematica 2 (1):45-68.
Gabriel Sandu (1994). Some Aspects of Negation in English. Synthese 99 (3):345 - 360.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads54 ( #29,220 of 1,101,088 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #177,551 of 1,101,088 )
How can I increase my downloads?