This commentary on Søren Riis’s paper “Dwelling in-between walls” starts from a position of solidarity with its attempt to build a postphenomenological perspective on architecture and the built environment. It proposes however that a clearer view of a technological structure of experience may be obtained by finding technological-perceptual wholes that incorporate perceiver and perceived as well as the mediating apparatus. Parts and wholes may be formed as nested human-technological interiorities that have structured relations with what is outside—so that the outside (...) constitutes an interiority in its turn which contextualises and situates the first. This nested structure raises questions about the way architects and urbanists see the built environment and understand inhabitation. It is hoped that this effort continues with conceptual and empirical work to research ways to make the human places of our built environment. (shrink)
One of the manuscripts of Buridan’s Summulae contains three figures, each in the form of an octagon. At each node of each octagon there are nine propositions. Buridan uses the figures to illustrate his doctrine of the syllogism, revising Aristotle's theory of the modal syllogism and adding theories of syllogisms with propositions containing oblique terms (such as ‘man’s donkey’) and with ‘propositions of non-normal construction’ (where the predicate precedes the copula). O-propositions of non-normal construction (i.e., ‘Some S (some) P is (...) not’) allow Buridan to extend and systematize the theory of the assertoric (i.e., non-modal) syllogism. Buridan points to a revealing analogy between the three octagons. To understand their importance we need to rehearse the medieval theories of signification, supposition, truth and consequence. (shrink)
The recovery of Aristotle’s logic during the twelfth century was a great stimulus to medieval thinkers. Among their own theories developed to explain Aristotle’s theories of valid and invalid reasoning was a theory of consequence, of what arguments were valid, and why. By the fourteenth century, two main lines of thought had developed, one at Oxford, the other at Paris. Both schools distinguished formal from material consequence, but in very different ways. In Buridan and his followers in Paris, formal consequence (...) was that preserved under uniform substitution. In Oxford, in contrast, formal consequence included analytic consequences such as ‘If it’s a man, then it’s an animal’. Aristotle’s notion of syllogistic consequence was subsumed under the treatment of formal consequence. Buridan developed a general theory embracing the assertoric syllogism, the modal syllogism and syllogisms with oblique terms. The result was a thoroughly systematic and extensive treatment of logical theory and logical consequence which repays investigation. (shrink)
In his article "Verdades antiguas y modernas" (in the same issue, pp. 207-27), David Miller criticised Thomas Bradwardine’s theory of truth and signification and my defence of Bradwardine’s application of it to the semantic paradoxes. Much of Miller’s criticism is sympathetic and helpful in gaining a better understanding of the relationship between Bradwardine’s proposed solution to the paradoxes and Alfred Tarski’s. But some of Miller’s criticisms betray a misunderstanding of crucial aspects of Bradwardine’s account of truth and signification.
The editors invited us to write a short paper that draws together the main themes of logic in the Western tradition from the Classical Greeks to the modern period. To make it short we had to make it personal. We set out the themes that seemed to us either the deepest, or the most likely to be helpful for an Indian reader.
Hartry Field's revised logic for the theory of truth in his new book, Saving Truth from Paradox , seeking to preserve Tarski's T-scheme, does not admit a full theory of negation. In response, Crispin Wright proposed that the negation of a proposition is the proposition saying that some proposition inconsistent with the first is true. For this to work, we have to show that this proposition is entailed by any proposition incompatible with the first, that is, that it is the (...) weakest proposition incompatible with the proposition whose negation it should be. To show that his proposal gave a full intuitionist theory of negation, Wright appealed to two principles, about incompatibility and entailment, and using them Field formulated a paradox of validity (or more precisely, of inconsistency). The medieval mathematician, theologian and logician, Thomas Bradwardine, writing in the fourteenth century, proposed a solution to the paradoxes of truth which does not require any revision of logic. The key principle behind Bradwardine's solution is a pluralist doctrine of meaning, or signification, that propositions can mean more than they explicitly say. In particular, he proposed that signification is closed under entailment. In light of this, Bradwardine revised the truth-rules, in particular, refining the T-scheme, so that a proposition is true only if everything that it signifies obtains. Thereby, he was able to show that any proposition which signifies that it itself is false, also signifies that it is true, and consequently is false and not true. I show that Bradwardine's solution is also able to deal with Field's paradox and others of a similar nature. Hence Field's logical revisions are unnecessary to save truth from paradox. (shrink)
Inferentialism claims that expressions are meaningful by virtue of rules governing their use. In particular, logical expressions are autonomous if given meaning by their introduction-rules, rules specifying the grounds for assertion of propositions containing them. If the elimination-rules do no more, and no less, than is justified by the introduction-rules, the rules satisfy what Prawitz, following Lorenzen, called an inversion principle. This connection between rules leads to a general form of elimination-rule, and when the rules have this form, they may (...) be said to exhibit “general-elimination” harmony. Ge-harmony ensures that the meaning of a logical expression is clearly visible in its I-rule, and that the I- and E-rules are coherent, in encapsulating the same meaning. However, it does not ensure that the resulting logical system is normalizable, nor that it satisfies the conservative extension property, nor that it is consistent. Thus harmony should not be identified with any of these notions. (shrink)
What makes necessary truths true? I argue that all truth supervenes on how things are, and that necessary truths are no exception. What makes them true are proofs. But if so, the notion of proof needs to be generalized to include verification-transcendent proofs, proofs whose correctness exceeds our ability to verify it. It is incumbent on me, therefore, to show that arguments, such as Dummett's, that verification-truth is not compatible with the theory of meaning, are mistaken. The answer is that (...) what we can conceive and construct far outstrips our actual abilities. I conclude by proposing a proof-theoretic account of modality, rejecting a claim of Armstrong's that modality can reside in non-modal truthmakers. (shrink)
This chapter focuses on alternative logics. It discusses a hierarchy of logical reform. It presents case studies that illustrate particular aspects of the logical revisionism discussed in the chapter. The first case study is of intuitionistic logic. The second case study turns to quantum logic, a system proposed on empirical grounds as a resolution of the antinomies of quantum mechanics. The third case study is concerned with systems of relevance logic, which have been the subject of an especially detailed reform (...) program. Finally, the fourth case study is paraconsistent logic, perhaps the most controversial of serious proposals. (shrink)
In recent years, speech-act theory has mooted the possibility that one utterance can signify a number of different things. This pluralist conception of signification lies at the heart of Thomas Bradwardine’s solution to the insolubles, logical puzzles such as the semantic paradoxes, presented in Oxford in the early 1320s. His leading assumption was that signification is closed under consequence, that is, that a proposition signifies everything which follows from what it signifies. Then any proposition signifying its own falsity, he showed, (...) also signifies its own truth and so, since it signifies things which cannot both obtain, it is simply false. Bradwardine himself, and his contemporaries, did not elaborate this pluralist theory, or say much in its defence. It can be shown to accord closely, however, with the prevailing conception of logical consequence in England in the fourteenth century. Recent pluralist theories of signification, such as Grice’s, also endorse Bradwardine’s closure postulate as a plausible constraint on signification, and so his analysis of the semantic paradoxes is seen to be both well-grounded and plausible. (shrink)
Thomas Bradwardine makes much of the fact that his solution to the insolubles is in accordance with Aristotle's diagnosis of the fallacy in the Liar paradox as that of secundum quid et simpliciter. Paul Spade, however, claims that this invocation of Aristotle by Bradwardine is purely "honorary" in order to confer specious respectability on his analysis and give it a spurious weight of authority. Our answer to Spade follows Bradwardine's response to the problem of revenge: any proposition saying of itself (...) that it is false says more than does Bradwardine's proposition saying of it that it is false, and so follows from that other proposition only in respect of part of what it says, and not simpliciter. (shrink)
Logical pluralism is the claim that diﬀerent accounts of validity can be equally correct. Beall and Restall have recently defended this position. Validity is a matter of truth-preservation over cases, they say: the conclusion should be true in every case in which the premises are true. Each logic speciﬁes a class of cases, but diﬀers over which cases should be considered. I show that this account of logic is incoherent. Validity indeed is truth-preservation, provided this is properly understood. Once understood, (...) there is one true logic, relevance logic. The source of Beall and Restall’s error is a recent habit of using a classical metalanguage to analyse non-classical logics generally, including relevance logic. (shrink)
The ?no???no? paradox (so-called by Sorensen) consists of a pair of propositions each of which says of the other that it is false. It is not immediately paradoxical, since it has a solution in which one proposition is true, the other false. However, that is itself paradoxical, since there is no clear ground for determining which is which. The two propositions should have the same truth-value. The paper shows how a proposal by the medieval thinker Thomas Bradwardine solves not only (...) the Liar paradox, but also symmetric paradoxes like the ?no???no?, the descending ?no???no?, and the Truth-teller paradoxes. (shrink)
What binds the constituents of a state of affairs together and provides unity to the fact they constitute? I argue that the fact that they are related is basic and fundamental. This is the thesis of Factualism: the world is a world of facts. I draw three corollaries: first, that the Identity of truth is mistaken, in conflating what represents (the proposition) with what is represented (the fact). Secondly, a popular interpretation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, due to Steinus, whereby false propositions (...) are taken to picture non-existent state of affairs, cannot be right. For Wittgenstein, propositions had two poles, and a proposition and its negation picture the same fact. Finally, the metaphysics of modal realism must be wrong, for there are no non-actual states of affairs to constitute any world other than the actual world. (Published Online October 13 2005). (shrink)
Intentional verbs create three different problems: problems of non-existence, of indeterminacy, and of failure of substitutivity. Meinongians tackle the first problem by recognizing non-existent objects; so too did many medieval logicians. Meinongians and the medievals approach the problem of indeterminacy differently, the former diagnosing an ellipsis for a propositional complement, the latter applying their theory directly to non-propositional complements. The evidence seems to favour the Meinongian approach. Faced with the third problem, Ockham argued bluntly for substitutivity when the intentional complement (...) is non-propositional; Buridan developed a novel way of resisting substitutivity. Ockham's approach is closer to the Meinongian analysis of these cases; Buridan's seems to raise difficulties for a referential semantics. The comparision between the Meinongian and medieval approaches helps to bring out merits and potential pitfalls of each. (shrink)
The Scottish logician Hugh MacColl is well known for his innovative contributions to modal and nonclassical logics. However, until now little biographical information has been available about his academic and cultural background, his personal and professional situation, and his position in the scientific community of the Victorian era. The present article reports on a number of recent findings.
These are two of only three medieval treatises known to the editors explicitly devoted to discussion of concepts. That is not to deny that other works treat extensively of concepts among other matters.
Michael Dummett and Dag Prawitz have argued that a constructivist theory of meaning depends on explicating the meaning of logical constants in terms of the theory of valid inference, imposing a constraint of harmony on acceptable connectives. They argue further that classical logic, in particular, classical negation, breaks these constraints, so that classical negation, if a cogent notion at all, has a meaning going beyond what can be exhibited in its inferential use.I argue that Dummett gives a mistaken elaboration of (...) the notion of harmony, an idea stemming from a remark of Gerhard Gentzen"s. The introduction-rules are autonomous if they are taken fully to specify the meaning of the logical constants, and the rules are harmonious if the elimination-rule draws its conclusion from just the grounds stated in the introduction-rule. The key to harmony in classical logic then lies in strengthening the theory of the conditional so that the positive logic contains the full classical theory of the conditional. This is achieved by allowing parametric formulae in the natural deduction proofs, a form of multiple-conclusion logic. (shrink)
The correspondence theory of truth has experienced something of a revival recently in the form of the Truthmaker Axiom: whatever is true, something makes it true. We consider various postulates which have been proposed to characterize truthmaking, in particular, the Disjunction Thesis (DT), that whatever makes a disjunction true must make one or other disjunct true. In conjunction with certain other assumptions, DT leads to triviality. We show that there are elaborations of truthmaking on which DT holds (which must therefore (...) take steps to avoid the triviality); but that there are more plausible accounts of truthmaking on which DT fails. (shrink)
Frege?s project has been characterized as an attempt to formulate a complete system of logic adequate to characterize mathematical theories such as arithmetic and set theory. As such, it was seen to fail by Gödel?s incompleteness theorem of 1931. It is argued, however, that this is to impose a later interpretation on the word ?complete? it is clear from Dedekind?s writings that at least as good as interpretation of completeness is categoricity. Whereas few interesting first-order mathematical theories are categorical or (...) complete, there are logical extensions of these theories into second-order and by the addition of generalized quantifiers which are categorical. Frege?s project really found success through Gödel?s completeness theorem of 1930 and the subsequent development of first- and higher-order model theory. (shrink)
In this book, Stephen Read sets out to rescue logic from its undeserved reputation as an inflexible, dogmatic discipline by demonstrating that its technicalities and processes are founded on assumptions which are themselves amenable to philosophical investigation. He examines the fundamental principles of consequence, logical truth and correct inference within the context of logic, and shows that the principles by which we delineate consequences are themselves not guaranteed free from error. Central to the notion of truth is the beguiling issue (...) of paradox. Its philosophical value, Read shows, lies in exposing the invalid assumption on which the paradox is built. Thinking About Logic also discusses logical puzzles which introduce questions relating to language, the world, and their relationship. (shrink)
In this article, we discuss the notion of merely confused supposition as it arose in the medieval theory of suppositio personalis. The context of our analysis is our formalization of William of Ockham's theory of supposition sketched in Mind 86 (1977), 109-13. The present paper is, however, self-contained, although we assume a basic acquaintance with supposition theory. The detailed aims of the paper are: to look at the tasks that supposition theory took on itself and to use our formalization to (...) relate them to more modern ideas; to explain the notion of merely confused supposition and to defend it against certain criticisms; and to discuss two issues closely related to the idea of merely confused supposition which we could not broach in a shorter article: the mode of supposition of terms in intensional contexts, and the possible existence of a fourth mode, often called suppositio copulatim. (shrink)