In this exciting new collection, a distinguished international group of philosophers contribute new essays on central issues in philosophy of language and logic, in honor of Michael Dummett, one of the most influential philosophers of the late twentieth century. The essays are focused on areas particularly associated with Professor Dummett. Five are contributions to the philosophy of language, addressing in particular the nature of truth and meaning and the relation between language and thought. Two contributors discuss (...) time, in particular the reality of the past. The last four essays focus on Frege and the philosophy of mathematics. The volume represents some of the best work in contemporary analytical philosophy. (shrink)
The cogito ergo sum of Descartes is one of the best-known--and simplest--of all philosophical formulations, but ever since it was first propounded it has defied any formal accounting of its validity. How is it that so simple and important an argument has caused such difficulty and such philosophical controversy? In this pioneering work, Jerrold Katz argues that the problem with the cogito lies where it is least suspected--in a deficiency in the theory of language and logic that Cartesian (...) scholars have brought to the study of the cogito. Katz contends that the laws of traditional logic have distorted Descartes's reasoning so that it no longer fits either Descartes's own account of the cogito in his writings or the role he assigns it in his project. Katz proposes that the cogito can be understood as an example of "analytic entailment," a concept in the philosophy of language whereby a statement can be a formally valid inference without depending on a law of logic. Developing and defending his thesis, he shows us that by grappling with an historical philosophical problem it is possible to make an original contribution to the advance of contemporary philosopy. (shrink)
Preface -- Part I: Philosophical logic and philosophy of language -- Rules versus theorems : a new approach for mediation -- Between intuitionistic and two-valued logic -- On the relation between the partition of a whole into parts and the attribution of properties to an object -- Basic objectives of dialogic logic in historical perspective -- Pragmatic and semiotic prerequisites for predication : a dialogue model -- Pragmatics and semiotics : the peircean version of ontology and (...) epistemology -- Intentionality and its language-dependency -- Meaning postulates and rules of argumentation : remarks concerning the pragmatic tie between meaning (of terms) and truth (of propositions) -- What do language games measure? -- Features of Indian logic -- Part II: Methods in philosophy, in art, and in science -- The concept of science : some remarks on the methodological issue construction versus description in the philosophy of science -- Is and ought revisited -- Competition and cooperation : are they antagonistic or complementary? -- Another version of methodological dualism -- The pre-established harmony between the two Adams -- On the way to conceptual and perceptual knowledge -- Self and other : remarks on human nature and human culture -- On the concept of symmetry -- Procedural principles of the Eerlangen School : on the interrelation between the principles of method, of dialogue, and of reason. (shrink)
Meaning and Argument shifts introductory logic from the traditional emphasis on proofs to the symbolization of arguments. Another distinctive feature of this book is that it shows how the need for expressive power and for drawing distinctions forces formal language development. This revised edition includes expanded sections, additional exercises, and an updated bibliography. Updated and revised edition includes extended sections, additional exercises, and an updated bibliography. Distinctive approach in that this text is a philosophical, rather than mathematical introduction (...) to logic. Concentrates on symbolization and does all the technical logic simply with truth tables and no derivations at all. Contains numerous exercises and a corresponding answer key. Extensive appendix which allows the reader to explore subjects that go beyond what is usually covered in an introductory logic course. Features accompanying website at www.meaningargument.com. (shrink)
This is the first of a three-volume anthology intended as a companion to The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy. Volume 1 is concerned with the logic and the philosophy of language, and comprises fifteen important texts on questions of meaning and inference that formed the basis of Medieval philosophy. As far as is practicable, complete works or topically complete segments of larger works have been selected. The editors have provided a full introduction to the volume and detailed (...) introductory headnotes to each text; the volume is also indexed comprehensively. (shrink)
Discussion of Wittgenstein's Tractatus is currently dominated by two opposing interpretations of the work: a metaphysical or realist reading and the 'resolute' reading of Diamond and Conant. Marie McGinn's principal aim in this book is to develop an alternative interpretative line, which rejects the idea, central to the metaphysical reading, that Wittgenstein sets out to ground the logic of our language in features of an independently constituted reality, but which allows that he aims to provide positive philosophical insights (...) into how language functions. McGinn takes as a guiding principle the idea that we should see Wittgenstein's early work as an attempt to eschew philosophical theory and to allow language itself to reveal how it functions. By this account, the aim of the work is to elucidate what language itself makes clear, namely, what is essential to its capacity to express thoughts that are true or false. However, the early Wittgenstein undertakes this descriptive project in the grip of a set of preconceptions concerning the essence of language that determine both how he conceives the problem and the approach he takes to the task of clarification. Nevertheless, the Tractatus contains philosophical insights, achieved despite his early preconceptions, that form the foundation of his later philosophy. -/- The anti-metaphysical interpretation that is presented includes a novel reading of the problematic opening sections of the Tractatus, in which the apparently metaphysical status of Wittgenstein's remarks is shown to be an illusion. The book includes a discussion of the philosophical background to the Tractatus, a comprehensive interpretation of Wittgenstein's early views of logic and language, and an interpretation of the remarks on solipsism. The final chapter is a discussion of the relation between the early and the later philosophy that articulates the fundamental shift in Wittgenstein's approach to the task of understanding how language functions and reveal the still more fundamental continuity in his conception of his philosophical task. (shrink)
This is the second edition of an important introduction to Leibniz's philosophy of logic and language first published in 1972. It takes issue with several traditional interpretations of Leibniz (by Russell amongst others) while revealing how Leibniz's thought is related to issues of great interest in current logical theory. For this new edition, the author has added new chapters on infinitesimals and conditionals as well as taking account of reviews of the first edition.
Norris presents a series of closely linked chapters on recent developments in epistemology, philosophy of language, cognitive science, literary theory, musicology and other related fields. While to this extent adopting an interdisciplinary approach, Norris also very forcefully challenges the view that the academic "disciplines" as we know them are so many artificial constructs of recent date and with no further role than to prop up existing divisions of intellectual labour. He makes his case through some exceptionally acute revisionist readings (...) of diverse thinkers such as Derrida, Paul de Man, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Michael Dummett and John McDowell. In each instance Norris stresses the value of bringing various trans-disciplinary perspectives to bear while none-the-less maintaining adequate standards of area-specific relevance and method. Most importantly he asserts the central role of recent developments in cognitive science as pointing a way beyond certain otherwise intractable problems in philosophy of mind and language. (shrink)
This paper investigates Wittgenstein’s account of the relation between elementary and molecular propositions (and thus, also, the propositions of logic) in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus . I start by sketching a natural reading of that relation – which I call the ‘bipartite reading’ – holding that the Tractatus gives an account of elementary propositions, based on the so-called picture theory, and a different account of molecular ones, based on the principle of truth-functionality. I then show that such a reading cannot (...) be attributed to Wittgenstein, because he holds the view that an explanation of logical complexity is already given by a correct account of the (pictorial) nature of elementary propositions; this is implied in his claim that ‘an elementary proposition contains all logical constants/operations in itself’. After clarifying Wittgenstein’s notion of an operation from the Notes on Logic to the Tractatus , I finally explain why Wittgenstein claims that an elementary proposition contains all logical operations in itself, and hence why he can be said to provide a unified (and thus not bipartite) account of language and logic. (shrink)
The mnemonic arts and the idea of a universal language that would capture the essence of all things were originally associated with cryptology, mysticism, and other occult practices. And it is commonly held that these enigmatic efforts were abandoned with the development of formal logic in the seventeenth century and the beginning of the modern era. In his distinguished book, Logic and the Art of Memory Italian philosopher and historian Paolo Rossi argues that this view is belied (...) by an examination of the history of the idea of a universal language. Based on comprehensive analyses of original texts, Rossi traces the development of this idea from late medieval thinkers such as Ramon Lull through Bruno, Bacon, Descartes, and finally Leibniz in the seventeenth century. The search for a symbolic mode of communication that would be intelligible to everyone was not a mere vestige of magical thinking and occult sciences, but a fundamental component of Renaissance and Enlightenment thought. Seen from this perspective, modern science and combinatorial logic represent not a break from the past but rather its full maturity. Available for the first time in English, this book (originally titled Clavis Universalis ) remains one of the most important contributions to the history of ideas ever written. In addition to his eagerly anticipated translation, Steven Clucas offers a substantial introduction that places this book in the context of other recent works on this fascinating subject. A rich history and valuable sourcebook, Logic and the Art of Memory documents an essential chapter in the development of human reason. (shrink)
The Polish logicians' propositional calculi, which consist in a distinct synthesis of the Fregean and Boolean approaches to logic, influenced W. V. Quine's early work in formal logic. This early formal work of Quine's, in turn, can be shown to serve as one of the sources of his holistic conception of natural language.
This collection of articles and review essays, including many hard to find pieces, comprises the most important and fundamental studies of Indian logic and linguistics ever undertaken. Frits Staal is concerned with four basic questions: Are there universals of logic that transcend culture and time? Are there universals of language and linguistics? What is the nature of Indian logic? And what is the nature of Indian linguistics? By addressing these questions, Staal demonstrates that, contrary to the (...) general assumption among Western philosophers, the classical philosophers of India were rationalists, attentive to arguments. They were in this respect unlike contemporary Western thinkers inspired by existentialism or hermeneutics, and like the ancient Chinese, Greeks, and many medieval European schoolmen, only--as Staal says--more so. Universals establishes that Asia's contributions are not only compatible with what has been produced in the West, but a necessary ingredient and an essential component of any future human science. (shrink)
Quantifiers in Language and Logic (QLL) is a major contribution to natural language semantics, specifically to quantification. It integrates the extensive recent work on quantifiers in logic and linguistics. It also presents new observations and results. QLL should help linguists understand the mathematical generalizations we can make about natural language quantification, and it should interest logicians by presenting an extensive array of quantifiers that lie beyond the pale of classical logic. Here we focus on (...) those aspects of QLL we judge to be of specific interest to linguists, and we contribute a few musings of our own, as one mark of a worthy publication is whether it stimulates the reader to seek out new observations, and QLL does. QLL is long and fairly dense, so we make no attempt to cover all the points it makes. But QLL has a topic index, a special symbols index and two tables of contents, a detailed one and an overview one, all of which help make it user friendly. QLL is presented in four parts: I, The Logical Conception of Quantifiers and Quantification with an introductory section Quantification . II, Quantifiers of Natural Language , the most extensive section in the book and of the most direct interest to linguists. III, Beginnings of a Theory of Expressiveness, Translation, and Formalization introduces notions of expressive power and definability, and IV, presents recent work and techniques concerning quantifier definability over finite domains, making accessible to linguists recent work in finite model theory. (shrink)
Erratum to: Stanley Peters and Dag Westerståhl: Quantifiers in language and logic Content Type Journal Article Category Erratum Pages 1-1 DOI 10.1007/s10988-011-9094-5 Authors Edward L. Keenan, Department of Linguistics, University of California at Los Angeles, 3125 Campbell Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1543, USA Denis Paperno, Department of Linguistics, University of California at Los Angeles, 3125 Campbell Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1543, USA Journal Linguistics and Philosophy Online ISSN 1573-0549 Print ISSN 0165-0157.
Questions about knowledge, and about the relation between logic and language, are at the heart of philosophy. Eleven distinguished philosophers from Britain and America contribute papers on such questions. All the contributions are examples of recent philosophy at its best. The first half of the book constitutes a running debate about knowledge, evidence and doubt. The second half tackles questions about logic and its relation to language.
A new formalism for predicate logic is introduced, with a non-standard method of binding variables, which allows a compositional formalization of certain anaphoric constructions, including donkey sentences and cross-sentential anaphora. A proof system in natural deduction format is provided, and the formalism is compared with other accounts of this type of anaphora, in particular Dynamic Predicate Logic.
This thesis discusses some central aspects of Wittgenstein's conception of language and logic in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and brings them into relation with the philosophies of Frege and Russell. The main contention is that a fruitful way of understanding the Tractatus is to see it as responding to tensions in Frege's conception of logic and Russell's theory of judgement. In the thesis the philosophy of the Tractatus is presented as developing from these two strands of criticism and (...) thus as the culmination of the philosophy of logic and language developed in the early analytic period. Part one examines relevant features of Frege's philosophy of logic. Besides shedding light on Frege's philosophy in its own right, it aims at preparing the ground for a discussion of those aspects of the Tractatus' conception of logic which derive from Wittgenstein's critical response to Frege. Part two first presents Russell's early view on truth and judgement, before considering several variants of the multiple relation theory of judgement, devised in opposition to it. Part three discusses the development of Wittgenstein's conception of language and logic, beginning with Wittgenstein's criticism of the multiple relation theory and his early theory of sense, seen as containing the seeds of the picture theory of propositions presented in the Tractatus. I then consider the relation between Wittgenstein's pictorial conception of language and his conception of logic, arguing that Wittgenstein's understanding of sense in terms of bipolarity grounds his view of logical complexity and of the essence of logic as a whole. This view, I show, is free from the internal tensions that affect Frege's understanding of the nature of logic. (shrink)
Quantification is a topic which brings together linguistics, logic, and philosophy. Quantifiers are the essential tools with which, in language or logic, we refer to quantity of things or amount of stuff. In English they include such expressions as no, some, all, both, and many. Peters and Westerstahl present the definitive interdisciplinary exploration of how they work - their syntax, semantics, and inferential role. Quantifiers in Language and Logic is intended for everyone with a scholarly (...) interest in the exact treatment of meaning. It presents a broad view of the semantics and logic of quantifier expressions in natural languages and, to a slightly lesser extent, in logical languages. The authors progress carefully from a fairly elementary level to considerable depth over the course of sixteen chapters; their book will be invaluable to a broad spectrum of readers, from those with a basic knowledge of linguistic semantics and of first-order logic to those with advanced knowledge of semantics, logic, philosophy of language, and knowledge representation in artificial intelligence. (shrink)
Meaning without Analyticity draws upon the author’s essays and articles, over a period of 20 years, focused on language, logic and meaning. The book explores the prospect of a non-behavioristic theory of cognitive meaning which rejects the analytic-synthetic distinction, Quinean behaviorism, and the logical and social-intellectual excesses of extreme holism. Cast in clear, perspicuous language and oriented to scientific discussions, this book takes up the challenges of philosophical communication and evaluation implicit in the recent revival of the (...) pragmatist tradition—especially those arising from its relation to prior American analytic thought. This volume continues the work of Callaway’s 1993 book, Context for Meaning and Analysis, building on the “turn toward pragmatism.” . (shrink)
This important contribution to the ground-breaking Radical Orthodoxy series revisits the works of Husserl, Heidegger, Augustine and Derrida to reconsider the challenge of speaking of God through predication, silence, confession and praise. James K. A. Smith argues for God's own refusal to avoid speaking as well as for our urgent need of words to make Him visible to us. This leads to a radical new "incarnational phenomenology" in which God's love endows imperfect signs with the means to indicate true (...) states of infinitude, and in which we may ultimately discover a new theology of the arts. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Foreword Maurice Nivat; Introduction; 1. Overview; 2. Graph algebras and widths of graphs; 3. Equational and recognizable sets in many-sorted algebras; 4. Equational and recognizable sets of graphs; 5. Monadic second-order logic; 6. Algorithmic applications; 7. Monadic second-order transductions; 8. Transductions of terms and words J. Engelfriet; 9. Relational structures; 10. Conclusion and open problems; References; Index.
This is a review of From Discourse to Logic: Introduction to Model-theoretic Semantics of Natural Language, Formal Logic and Discourse Representation Theory, by Hans Kamp and Uwe Reyle, published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in 1993.
The European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI) takes place every year, each time at a different location in Europe. With its focus on the large interdisciplinary area where linguistics, logic and computation converge, it has become very popular since it started in 1989, attracting large crowds of students. ESSLLI is where everyone in the field meets, teaches, takes courses, gives talks, dances all night, and generally has a good time. One of the enjoyable features (...) of the School is its recurring Student Session, organized by students along the lines of a conference. The speakers are students too, who are eager to get a chance to present their work. They face stiff competition to get their talks accepted, as the number of papers that is sent in each year is high and acceptance rates low. -/- In my experience many of the selected talks contain fresh and surprising insights and are a pleasure to attend. But the reader may judge the quality of the Student Session for himself, as this volume contains a selection of papers from its 2008 and 2009 installments, the first held in Hamburg, the second in Bordeaux. The book is divided into four parts. – Semantics and Pragmatics – Mathematical Linguistics – Applied Computational Linguistics – Logic and Computation -/- The first two of these present work in the intersection of logic (broadly conceived) and different parts of linguistics, the third contains papers on the interface of linguistics and computation, while the fourth, as its name suggests, deals with logic and computation. The reader will see a connection with the Venn diagram that functions as ESSLLI’s logo. (shrink)
Boethius, the Roman philosopher, was executed for treason and pilloried by modern scholars for misinterpreting Aristotle to the West. This book examines his semantics and logic, attempting to clear his name and lend him new credence.
This paper analyses the relationship between Hobbes's theory of language and his theory of science and method. It is shown that Hobbes, at least in his Computatio sive Logica (1655), deviates in some measure from the traditional (Aristotelian) model of language. In this model speech is considered to be a fairly unproblematic expression of thought, which itself is independent of language. Basing himself on a nominalist account of universals, Hobbes states that the demonstration or assertion of universal (...) propositions presupposes speech (more especially, the use of names as marks). This insight turns out to be essential for Hobbes's (rationalist) view of scientific method. (shrink)
Hurford's argument suffers from two major weaknesses. First, his account of neural mechanisms suggests no place in the brain where the two halves of a predicate-argument structure could come together. Second, his assumption that language and cognition must be based on logic is neither necessary nor particularly plausible, and leads him to some unlikely conclusions.
In game-theoretical semantics, perfectlyclassical rules yield a strong negation thatviolates tertium non datur when informationalindependence is allowed. Contradictorynegation can be introduced only by a metalogicalstipulation, not by game rules. Accordingly, it mayoccur (without further stipulations) onlysentence-initially. The resulting logic (extendedindependence-friendly logic) explains several regularitiesin natural languages, e.g., why contradictory negation is abarrier to anaphase. In natural language, contradictory negationsometimes occurs nevertheless witin the scope of aquantifier. Such sentences require a secondary interpretationresembling the so-called substitutionalinterpretation of quantifiers.This interpretation (...) is sometimes impossible,and it means a step beyond thenormal first-order semantics, not an alternative to it. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s language games can be put into a wider service by virtue of elements they share with some contemporary opinions concerning logic and the semantics of computation. I will give two examples: manifestations of language games and their possible variations in logical studies, and their role in some of the recent developments in computer science. It turns out that the current paradigm of computation that Girard termed Ludics bears a striking resemblance to members of language games. (...) Moreover, the kind of interrelations that are emerging could be scrutinised from the viewpoint of logic that virtually necessitates game-theoretic conceptualisations, demonstrating the fact that the meaning of utterances may, in many situations, be understood as Wittgenstein’s language games of ‘showing or telling what one sees’. This provides motivation for the use of games in relation to logic and formal semantics that some commentators have called for. Many of the ideas can be traced to C.S. Peirce, for whom signs were vehicles of strategic communication. The conclusion about Wittgenstein is that the notions of saying and showing converge in his late philosophy. (shrink)
This is a collection of eleven original essays in analytical philosophy by British and American philosophers, centering on the connection between mind and language. Two themes predominate: how it is that thoughts and sentences can represent the world; and what having a thought - a belief, for instance - involves. Developing from these themes are the questions: what does having a belief require of the believer, and of the way he or she relates to the environment? In particular, does (...) having a belief require speaking a language? The volume concludes the informal series stemming from the meetings sponsored by the Thyssen Foundation. (shrink)
This introduction to modern work in analytic philosophy uses the example of the proper name to give a clear explanation of the logical theories of Gottlob Frege, and explain the application of his ideas to ordinary language. McCulloch then shows how meaning is rooted in the philosophy of mind and the question of intentionality, and looks at the ways in which thought can be "about" individual material objects.
In the first section of this paper I present a well known objection to meaning holism, according to which holism is inconsistent with natural language being learnable. Then I show that the objection fails if language acquisition includes stages of partial grasp of the meaning of at least some expressions, and I argue that standard model theoretic semantics cannot fully capture such stages. In the second section the above claims are supported through a review of current research into (...)language acquisition. Finally, in the third section it is argued that contemporary algebraic logical systems consist in a superior formal vehicle through which to capture stages of partial grasp of meaning; this claim is supported by concrete examples. (shrink)
Professor Hilary Putnam has been one of the most influential and sharply original of recent American philosophers in a whole range of fields. His most important published work is collected here, together with several new and substantial studies, in two volumes. The first deals with the philosophy of mathematics and of science and the nature of philosophical and scientific enquiry; the second deals with the philosophy of language and mind. Volume one is now issued in a new edition, including (...) an essay on the philosophy of logic first published in 1971. (shrink)
The paper presents an interpretation of the thinking behind the early Wittgenstein's "general form of the proposition." It argues that a central role is played by the assumption that all domains of discourse are governed by the same laws of logic. The interpretation is presented partly through a comparison with ideas presented recently by Michael Potter and Peter Sullivan; the paper argues that the above assumption explains more of the key characteristics of the "general form of the proposition" than (...) Potter and Sullivan suppose, including, in particular, its claim that the bases from which all other propositions are derived must be elementary propositions. (shrink)
Sören Stenlund's work marks a major advance in our understanding of why the philosophy of language has been so dominated over the past few decades by the so-called "creative aspect of language" -- the problem of how we are able to understand sentences that we have never heard before. Stenlund raises some fundamental philosophical objections by demonstrating, for example, how the theory distorts the flexibility and fluidity of word -- and sentence -- meaning. Although words and sentences can (...) have a remarkable number of different, sometimes extraordinarily subtle meanings, Stenlund shows how language-users can readily adapt to entirely novel uses of a word or a sentence. Language and Philosophical Problems presents the results of philosophical investigations into several connected issues of current interest within the philosophies of language, logic, mind, and mathematics. In particular it deals with our tendency to be misled by certain prevailing views and preconceptions of language. (shrink)
The principal aim of this essay is to discuss some logical features of the so-called Classical model of cognitive architecture as it is advocated by J. Fodor and Z. Pylyshyn in their much discussed article 'Connectionism and Cognitive Architecture: A Critical Analysis'. It is pointed out that their structural assumptions have consequences of a logical kind which call into question the view that the Classical architecture (in their sense) can be employed to model human cognition. It seems that the consequences (...) have escaped Fodor and Pylyshyn's notice, or else they have failed to appreciate them, since some of their claims evidently conflict with them. It is also investigated whether the human mind can be characterized as being logical in some weaker sense of logic. Furthermore, it is argued that J. H. Fetzer's view that it is a semiotic system is more realistic than the Classical model, but the distinction he suggests between human cognition and other kinds may be problematic. (shrink)
In a recent paper Johan van Benthem reviews earlier work done by himself and colleagues on ‘natural logic’. His paper makes a number of challenging comments on the relationships between traditional logic, modern logic and natural logic. I respond to his challenge, by drawing what I think are the most significant lines dividing traditional logic from modern. The leading difference is in the way logic is expected to be used for checking arguments. For traditionals (...) the checking is local, i.e. separately for each inference step. Between inference steps, several kinds of paraphrasing are allowed. Today we formalise globally: we choose a symbolisation that works for the entire argument, and thus we eliminate intuitive steps and changes of viewpoint during the argument. Frege and Peano recast the logical rules so as to make this possible. I comment also on the traditional assumption that logical processing takes place at the top syntactic level, and I question Johan’s view that natural logic is ‘natural’. (shrink)
Philosophical accounts of thought crucially involve an array of abilities to identify general properties or features of the world (corresponding to concepts) and objects that instantiate those general properties. Abilities of both types can be grounded in a naturalistic account of the usefulness of cognitive structures in adaptive behaviour. Language enhances these abilities by multiplying the experience bases giving rise to them and helping to overcome subjective biases.
This paper presents an information-based logic that is applied to the analysis of entailment, implicature and presupposition in natural language. The logic is very fine-grained and is able to make distinctions that are outside the scope of classical logic. It is independently motivated by certain properties of natural human reasoning, namely partiality, paraconsistency, relevance, and defeasibility: once these are accounted for, the data on implicature and presupposition comes quite naturally.The logic is based on the family (...) of semantic spaces known as bilattices, originally proposed by Ginsberg (1988), and used extensively by Fitting (1989, 1992). Specifically, the logic is based on a subset of bilattices that I call evidential bilattices, constructed as the Cartesian product of certain algebras with themselves. The specific details of the epistemic agent approach of the logical system is derived from the work of Belnap (1975, 1977), augmented by the use of evidential links for inferencing. An important property of the system is that it has been implemented using an extension of Fitting's work on bilattice logic programming (1989, 1991) to build a model-based inference engine for the augmented Belnap logic. This theorem prover is very efficient for a reasonably wide range of inferences. (shrink)
This paper uses the strengthened liar paradox as a springboard to illuminate two more general topics: i) the negation operator and the speech act of denial among speakers of English and ii) some ways the potential for acceptable language change is constrained by linguistic meaning. The general and special problems interact in reciprocally illuminating ways. The ultimate objective of the paper is, however, less to solve certain problems than to create others, by illustrating how the issues that form the (...) topic of this paper are more intricate than previously realised, and that they are related in delicate and somewhat surprising ways. (shrink)
The split in our thinking between "masculine" and "feminine" is probably as old as language itself. Human beings seem to have a natural tendency to divide things into pairs: good/bad, light/dark, subject/object and so on. It is not surprising, then, that the male/female or masculine/feminine dichotomy is used to classify things other than men and women. Many languages actually classify all nouns as "masculine" or "feminine" (although not very consistently: for example, the Spanish masculine noun pollo means "hen", while (...) the feminine polla is slang for "penis"). This is perfectly natural; it is part of the way categorisation works in language. This does not, however, mean that it is right. It is probably unimportant whether a table or a chair is thought of as masculine or feminine. It may not even be very important these days whether we think of the sun as male and the moon as female (like the ancient Greeks) or vice versa (like most of the German tribes). However, when we start associating abstract concepts like Reason or Nature with men and women, we run into serious difficulties. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is twofold: (i) we argue that the structure of commonsense knowledge must be discovered, rather than invented; and (ii) we argue that natural language, which is the best known theory of our (shared) commonsense knowledge, should itself be used as a guide to discovering the structure of commonsense knowledge. In addition to suggesting a systematic method to the discovery of the structure of commonsense knowledge, the method we propose seems to also provide an explanation (...) for a number of phenomena in natural language, such as metaphor, intensionality, and the semantics of nominal compounds. Admittedly, our ultimate goal is quite ambitious, and it is no less than the systematic ‘discovery’ of a well-typed ontology of commonsense knowledge, and the subsequent formulation of the longawaited goal of a meaning algebra. (shrink)
An examination the development of Peter Abaelard's views on translation and figurative meaning. Mediaeval philosophers curiously do not connect the theory of translation implied by Aristotelian semantics with the multiplicity of tongues consequent upon the fall of Babel and do not seem to have much to offer to help in solving the problems of scriptural interpretation noted by Augustine. Indeed, on the Aristotelian account of meaning such problems do not arise. This paper shows that Abaelard is like others in this (...) respect in not in general finding translation problematic. Two particular cases, oppositio in adiecto and accidental predication, however, present problems for him and the paper examines and tries to explain the differences between the account given in the Dialectica and that given in the Logica `Ingredientibus'. (shrink)
In contrast to historically orientedapproaches, this paper tackles the concept ofNirvna from the perspective ofcontemporary philosophy of language. It focuseson four propositions: Nirvna exists;Nirvna does not exist; Nirvna existsand does not exist; Nirvna neither exists nordoes not exist. The Buddha's rejectionof these propositions is interpreted by meansof explicit and conditionaldefinitions of existence. Stalnaker's notion ofpragmatic presupposition providesan explanation why the propositions are withoutmeaning. After comparing theword ``Nirvna'' with indexicals, propernames and theoretical terms, it is finallyasked what linguistic function the (...) word has. (shrink)
This paper discusses the distinctions indicated in its title. It is argued that the distinction between syntax and semantics is much more important for the present situation in logic than other distinctions. In particular, doing formal syntax and formal semantics requires the use of an informal melanguage based on ordinary mathematics.
Three fundamental forms of semiotic process (reference, addressing, and intentionality) are presented and their relations to language explained. After that, the fundamental inference forms (formal deduction, induction, and abduction) are presented and their connections with semiosis shown. Finally, we show some important differences between semiosis and inference, and propose to see information processing as a dynamical attractor of inference.