David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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History and Philosophy of Logic 31 (1):3-29 (2011)
In a series of publications beginning in the 1980s, John Etchemendy has argued that the standard semantical account of logical consequence, due in its essentials to Alfred Tarski, is fundamentally mistaken. He argues that, while Tarski's definition requires us to classify the terms of a language as logical or non-logical, no such division is guaranteed to deliver the correct extension of our pre-theoretical or intuitive consequence relation. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, Tarski's account is claimed to be incapable of explaining an essential modal/epistemological feature of consequence, namely, its necessity and apriority. Bernard Bolzano (1781-1848) is widely recognized as having anticipated Tarski's definition in his Wissenschaftslehre (or Theory of Science ) of 1837. Because of the similarities between his account and Tarski's, Etchemendy's arguments have also been extended to cover Bolzano. The purpose of this article is to consider Bolzano's theory in the light of these criticisms. We argue that, due to important differences between Bolzano's and Tarski's theories, Etchemendy's objections do not apply immediately to Bolzano's account of consequence. Moreover, Bolzano's writings contain the elements of a detailed philosophical response to Etchemendy
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