|Abstract||As a theory of reasoning, logic has—or ought to have—nothing to do with metaphysics. It ought to have nothing to do with questions concerning what there is, or whether there is anything at all. It is precisely because of its metaphysical commitments that Aristotelian syllogistics, for example, was eventually deemed inadequate as a canon of pure logical reasoning. The inference from an A-form statement such as (1) All humans are mortal to the corresponding I-form statement, (2) Some humans are mortal, is syllogistically valid. But it depends on the existence of humans beings and should not, therefore, count as valid as a matter of pure logic. (It depends on the existence of human beings because, in a world with no such beings, (2) would be false whereas (1) would be true, although vacuously.) Likewise, modern quantification theory1 has been found inadequate insofar as it sanctions as valid the inference from a universal statement such as (3) Everything is mortal to the corresponding existential statement (4) Something is mortal, whose truth-conditions, unlike those of (3), appear to clash with the metaphysical possibility that there is nothing at all. It also sanctions as valid the inference from (3) to any of its substitution instances, such as..|
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