A predicate logic typically has a heterogeneous semantic theory. Subject terms and predicates have distinct semantic roles: subject terms refer; predicates characterize. And a sentence expresses a truth if the object to which the subject term refers is correctly characterized by the predicate. Traditional term logic, by contrast, has a homogeneous theory: both subject terms and predicates refer; a sentence is true if the subject term and predicate name one and the same thing. There is evidence that Aristotle holds that (...) subject terms and predicates refer. If this is correct, then it seems that Aristotle, like the traditional term logician, problematically conflates predication and identity claims. I will argue that we can ascribe to Aristotle the view that both subjects and predicates refer, while holding that he would deny that a sentence is true just in case the subject and predicate name one and the same thing. In particular, I will argue that Aristotle’s core semantic notion is not identity but the weaker relation of constitution. For example, the predication ‘All men are mortal’ expresses a true thought, in Aristotle’s view, just in case the mereological sum of humans is a part of the mereological sum of mortals. (shrink)
Strawson offers three accounts of singular predication: a grammatical, a category and a mediating account. I argue that the grammatical and mediating accounts are refuted by a host of counter-examples and that the latter is worse than useless. In later works Strawson defends only the category account. This account entails that singular terms cannot be predicates; it excludes non-denoting singular terms from being logical subjects, except by means of an ad hoc analogy; it depends upon a notion of identification (...) that is too vague; and it is unnecessarily complicated, relying on analogies where a more uniform explanation should be possible. But I show how the account can be corrected to avoid all these difficulties and to provide an accurate account of singular predication. (shrink)
In this paper I rehearse two central failings of traditional possible world semantics. I then present a much more robust framework for intensional logic and semantics based liberally on the work of George Bealer in his book Quality and Concept. Certain expressive limitations of Bealer's approach, however, lead me to extend the framework in a particularly natural and useful way. This extension, in turn, brings to light associated limitations of Bealer's account of predication. In response, I develop a more (...) general and intuitively more adequate account of the logical form of predication. (shrink)
Moral particularism, on some interpretations, is committed to a shapeless thesis: the moral is shapeless with respect to the natural. (Call this version of moral particularism ‘shapeless moral particularism’). In more detail, the shapeless thesis is that the actions a moral concept or predicate can be correctly applied to have no natural commonality (or shape) amongst them. Jackson, Smith and Pettit (2000) argue, however, that the shapeless thesis violates the platitude ‘predication supervenes on nature’—predicates or concepts apply because of (...) how things are, and therefore ought to be rejected. I defend shapeless moral particularism by arguing that Jackson et al’s contention is less compelling than it firstly appears. My defense is limited in the sense that it does not prove shapeless moral particularism to be right and it leaves open the possibility that shapeless moral particularism might attract criticisms different from the ones advanced by Jackson et al. But at the very least, I hope to say enough to undermine Jackson et al’s powerful attack against it. The plan of this paper is as follows. Section 1 glosses the view of moral particularism and why it is taken to be essentially committed to the shapeless thesis. Section 2 examines a Wittgensteinian argument for the shapeless thesis. I shall argue that the Canberrans’ counter-arguments against it on grounds of disjunctive commonality and conceptual competence do not succeed. Section 3 explicates Canberrans’ predication supervenience argument against the shapeless thesis. Section 4 offers my criticisms of the Canberrans’ predication supervenience argument. In view of the above discussions, in section 5, I conclude that there is no compelling argument (from the Canberrans) to believe that the shapeless thesis fails (as I have argued in section 4). In fact, there is some good reason for us to believe it (as I have argued in section 2). If so, I contend that moral particularism, when construed as essentially committed to the shapeless thesis, still remains as a live option. -/- . (shrink)
In this paper I explore how the tenseless copula is to be interpreted in sentences of the form “ a is F at t ”, where “ a ” denotes a persisting, changeable object, “ F ” stands for a prima facie intrinsic property and “ t ” for a B-time. I argue that the interpretation of the copula depends on the logical role assigned to the time clause. Having rejected the idea that the time clause is to be treated (...) as a sentence operator, I argue: (1) that if “at t ” is thought of as being associated with “ a ” or “ F ”, then the tenseless copula is most plausibly read as an “is” simpliciter ; and (2) that if “at t ” is treated as being associated with the copula, then the tenseless copula is most plausibly understood as expressing a disjunction of tensed copulas. I end the paper by explaining the importance of the issue. I indicate the ramifications interpretation of the tenseless copula has for the so-called problem of temporary intrinsics. (shrink)
Plural predication is a pervasive part of ordinary language. We can say that some people are fifty in number, are surrounding a building, come from many countries, and are classmates. These predicates can be true of some people without being true of any one of them; they are non-distributive predications. However, the apparatus of modern logic does not allow a place for them. Thomas McKay here explores the enrichment of logic with non-distributive plural predication and quantification. His book (...) will be of great interest to philosophers of language, linguists, metaphysicians, and logicians. (shrink)
This book takes up the central themes of Aristotle's metaphysical theory and the various transformations they undergo prior to their full expression in the Metaphysics. Aristotle's metaphysics is bedevilled by classic puzzles involving such notions as form, predication, universal, and substance, which result from his attempt to adapt the various requirements on primary substance developed in his earlier works so that they fit the very different metaphysical picture in his later work. Professor Lewis argues that Aristotle is himself aware (...) of most if not all of these difficulties and in the Metaphysics works hard to ensure the coherence of his theory. He presents Aristotle's views as a formal theory complete with axioms, definitions, and theorems. (shrink)
Problems about the accidental properties of properties motivate us--force us, I think--not to identify properties with the sets of their instances. If we identify them instead with functions from worlds to extensions, we get a theory of properties that is neutral with respect to disputes over counterpart theory, and we avoid a problem for Lewis's theory of events. Similar problems about the temporary properties of properties motivate us--though this time they probably don't force us--to give up this theory as well, (...) and to identify properties with functions from world, time pairs to extensions. Again, the replacement theory is neutral with respect to a metaphysical dispute that the old theory (arguably) forces us to take a stand on--the dispute over whether objects have temporal parts. It also allows us to give a smoother semantics for predication, to better accommodate our intuitions about which objects temporary properties are properties of, and to make temporally self-locating beliefs genuinely self -locating. (shrink)
To what extent do true predications correspond to truthmakers in virtue of which those predications are true? One sort of predicate which is often thought to not be susceptible to an ontological treatment is a predicate for instantiation, or some corresponding predication (trope-similarity or set-membership, for example). This paper discusses this question, and argues that an "ontological" approach is possible here too: where this ontological approach goes beyond merely finding a truthmaker for claims about instantiation. Along the way a (...) version of the problem of the regress of instantiation is posed and solved. (shrink)
In this article I contrast in two ways those conceptions of semantic theory deriving from Richard Montague's Intensional Logic (IL) and later developments with conceptions that stick pretty closely to a far weaker semantic apparatus for human first languages. IL is a higher-order language incorporating the simple theory of types. As such, it endows predicates with a reference. Its intensional features yield a conception of propositional identity (namely necessary equivalence) that has seemed to many to be too coarse to be (...) acceptable. In the most usual expositions, it takes the object of linguistic explication to be the sentence in a context, as in Kaplan, 1977. This last has led to recent speculations about 'shifted' contexts. IL may be contrasted with a more linguistically (representationally) bound conception of propositions and interpretation of their predicational and functional parts, and with the explication, not of sentences in contexts, but of potential utterances, relative to the antecedent referential intentions of their speakers. We may then advance, as an empirical hypothesis about all human languages, that contexts never shift, and propose that apparent counterexamples stem from the misconstrual of linguistically coded anaphoric relations, relations that are wanted independently anyway. Donald Davidson's posthumous volume Truth and Predication mounts a sustained criticism of the notion of predicate reference. This criticism is not decisive. However, it may put the ball in the other court, insofar as it asks for a justification of what IL takes as given. Elaborations of IL using structured propositions, recently defended in King, 2007, recognize the problem of predicate reference, and the correlative issue of the 'unity of the proposition'; but I do not see that they can do better than bite the bullet already bitten in IL. I agree with Frege's insight that full justification of predicate reference pushes the boundaries of natural language, and to that extent may not be found within the semantic (as opposed to general scientific) enterprise. (shrink)
This work presents a version of the correspondence theory of truth based on Wittgenstein's Tractatus and Russell's theory of truth and discusses related metaphysical issues such as predication, facts, and propositions. Like Russell and one prominent interpretation of the Tractatus it assumes a realist view of universals. Part of the aim is to avoid Platonic propositions, and although sympathy with facts is maintained in the early chapters, the book argues that facts as real entities are not needed. (...) It includes discussion of contemporary philosophers such as David Armstrong, William Alston, and Paul Horwich, as well as those who write about propositions and facts, and a number of recent students of Bertrand Russell. It will interest teachers and advanced students of philosophy who are interested in the realistic conception of truth and in issues in metaphysics related to the correspondence theory of truth, and those interested in Russell and the Tractatus. (shrink)
The paper discusses the structure of non-verbal predication, with particular reference to the role of the copula. Differently from the main tenets of contemporary logico-philosophical and linguistic theories, a model of predication is proposed where the verbal component (specifically, tense information) is regarded as central in establishing the syntactic and semantic relation between a predicate and its subject. It is thus possible to recover some of the insights of the pre-Fregean analysis of predication. The proposed solution has (...) a number of significant consequences for the structure to be assigned to non-verbal predication, in particular for the semantics of small clause constituents, where the predication is established without the copula. (shrink)
In a memorable paper, Donald Davidson (1986, p. 446) insists that "there is no such thing as a language, not if a language is anything like what many philosophers and linguists have supposed". I have always taken this as an exaggeration, albeit an apt exaggeration that might be philosophically helpful. Now when it comes to predication, what I would have expected to hear from the same author would be along the lines of "there is no such thing as (...) class='Hi'>predication ... ". But instead of this I hear something very different (Davidson, 2005, p. 77): [I]f we do not understand predication, we do not understand how any sentence works, nor can we account for the structure of the simplest thought that is expressible in language. At one time there was much discussion of what was called the "unity of proposition"; it is just this unity that a theory of predication must explain. The philosophy of language lacks its most important chapter without such a theory, the philosophy of mind is missing its crucial first step if it cannot describe the nature of judgment; and it is woeful if metaphysics cannot say how a substance is related to its attributes. I find myself at odds with just about everything written in this paragraph; and what is worse, my disagreement stems from a notion of language which I believe I have acquired also by reading Davidson. Reading this passage, I desperately sought for an indication that it was leading up to some catch, and not meant to be taken at face value. But, alas, I am afraid there is none. To avoid misunderstanding: I see nothing wrong in understanding predication as a clearly delimited linguistic phenomenon. We put together one kind of expression, which we have come to call the subject, with a different kind of expression, called the predicate, possibly.. (shrink)
This paper offers a new semantic theory of existentials (sentences of the form There be NP pivot XP coda ) in which pivots are (second order) predicates and codas are modifiers. The theory retains the analysis of pivots as denoting generalized quantifiers (Barwise and Cooper 1981; Keenan 1987), but departs from previous analyses in analyzing codas as contextual modifiers on a par with temporal/locative frame adverbials. Existing analyses universally assume that pivots are arguments of some predicate, and that codas are (...) main or secondary predicates. It is shown that these analyses cannot account for the behavior of codas with quantifiers and for the interaction of multiple codas, both of which receive a simple treatment on the proposed theory. The assimilation of codas to frame adverbials explains several semantic properties which have not been analyzed in the semantic literature, and that distinguish existentials from their copular counterparts. Furthermore, it highlights important properties of the semantics of modification and its relation to predication. (shrink)
One of the perennial questions of philosophy concerns the simple statements which say that an object is so and so or that such and such objects are so and so related: simple predicative statements. Do such statements have an ontological basis, and if so, what is that basis? The answer to this question determinesâor in any case, is expressive ofâa specific fundamental outlook on the world. In the course of the history of Western philosophy, various philosophers have given various answers (...) to the question of predication. This essay presents the main, crucial answers: the paradigms and theories of predication of the Sophists (and of all later radical relativists), of Plato, of Aristotle, of the Aristotelian-minded non-nominalists, of Leibniz, and of Frege. In addition, the essay follows (to some extent) the most influentialâthe Aristotelian or mereologicalâparadigm of predication in its continuity and modification through the many centuries of its reign. However, the essay is not content to adopt the merely historical point of view; it also poses the question of adequacy. Prior to Frege, there was no philosophically adequate theory of predication, and the essay points out the shortcomings (besides aspects that can be viewed as advantages) of each pre-Fregean predication theory considered in it. Frege, in the nineteenth century, brought the philosophy of predication on the right track, but his own theory of predication has its own deficits. The essay ends with the presentation of a theory of predication that the author himself considers adequate. (shrink)
Identity, existence, predication, necessity, and truth are vital concepts at the center of philosophy. Yet Colin McGinn believes that orthodox views of these topics are misguided in important ways. Philosophers and logicians have often distorted the nature of these concepts in an attempt to define them according to preconceived ideas. Logical Properties aims to respect the ordinary ways we talk and think when we employ these concepts, while at the same time showing that they are far more interesting and (...) peculiar than some have assumed; these notions correspond to real properties--logical properties--that challenge naturalistic metaphysical views. Written with a minimum of formal terminology, this book deals with logico-linguistic issues as well as ontological ones. The focus is on trying to get to the essence of the concept concerned, not merely finding some established notation for providing formal interpretations. (shrink)
I begin with a kind of phenomenological reporting of the recent war between Israel and the Hezbollah in Lebanon, in order to explain the meaning of the thesis that "historicity is predication" - meaning by that to clarify the sense in which predication is a kind of political act (for good and sufficient philosophical reasons) and how the "objective" description of an evolving war illuminates such a philosophical reading of history.
I argue that maps do not feature predication, as analyzed by Frege and Tarski. I take as my foil (Casati and Varzi, Parts and places, 1999), which attributes predication to maps. I argue that the details of Casati and Varzi’s own semantics militate against this attribution. Casati and Varzi emphasize what I call the Absence Intuition: if a marker representing some property (such as mountainous terrain) appears on a map, then absence of that marker from a map coordinate (...) signifies absence of the corresponding property from the corresponding location. Predication elicits nothing like the Absence Intuition. “F(a)” does not, in general, signify that objects other than a lack property F. On the basis of this asymmetry, I argue that attaching a marker to map coordinates is a different mode of semantic composition than attaching a predicate to a singular term. (shrink)
What in Aristotle corresponds, in whole or (more likely) in part, to our contemporary notion of predication? This paper sketches counterparts in Aristotle's text to our theories of expression and of truth, and on this basis inquires into his treatment of sentences assigning an individual to its kinds. In some recent accounts, the Metaphysics offers a fresh look at such sentences in terms of matter and form, in contrast to the simpler theory on offer in the Categories . I (...) argue that the Metaphysics initiates no change in this regard over the Categories . The point that form is (metaphysically) predicated of matter is a contribution, not to the account of statement predication, but to the analysis of compound material substances. Otherwise put, in our terms Aristotelian form is not - in particular, is not also - a propositional function, but a function from matter to compound material substances. (shrink)
The nature of predication, and its relation to truth, is the central topic of Davidson’s posthumously published Truth and Predication . The main task which an account of predication should accomplish is a solution to the problem of predication; and that, Davidson tells us, is the problem of explaining what makes some collections of words, but not others, true or false (86). It is so-called because, Davidson thinks, the principal challenge faced by any answer to this (...) problem is the problem of explaining the distinctive contribution made by predicates to the truth or falsity of sentences. (shrink)
Conceptual realism begins with a conceptualist theory of the nexus of predication in our speech and mental acts, a theory that explains the unity of those acts in terms of their referential and predicable aspects. This theory also contains as an integral part an intensional realism based on predicate nominalization and a reflexive abstraction in which the intensional contents of our concepts are object -ified, and by which an analysis of predication with intensional verbs can be given. Through (...) a second nominalization of the common names that are part of conceptual realism’s theory of reference (via quantifier phrases), the theory also accounts for both plural reference and predication and mass noun reference and predication. Finally, a separate nexus of predication based on natural kinds and the natural properties and relations nomologically related to those natural kinds, is also an integral part of the framework of conceptual realism. (shrink)
The present paper is an attempt at the investigation of the nature of polarity contrast in natural languages. Truth conditions for natural language sentences are incomplete unless they include a proper definition of the conditions under which they are false. It is argued that the tertium non datur principle of classical bivalent logical systems is empirically invalid for natural languages: falsity cannot be equated with non-truth. Lacking a direct intuition about the conditions under which a sentence is false, we need (...) an independent foundation of the concept of falsity. The solution I offer is a definition of falsity in terms of the truth of a syntactic negation of the sentence. A definition of syntactic negation is proposed for English (Section 1). The considerations are applied to the analysis of definites in non-generic sentences and the analysis of generic indefinites. These two domains are investigated in breadth and some depth and the analyses compared and connected. During the discussion of non-generic predications with definite arguments and their respective negations (Section 2), a theory of predication is developed, basic to which is the distinction between integrative and summative predication. Summative predication, e.g., distributive plural, leads to contrary, all-or-no-thing, polarity contrasts due to the fundamental Presupposition of Indivisibility. Further-more, levels of predication are distinguished that are built up by various processes of constructing macropredications from lexical predicates. Given this analysis, particular (i.e., non-generic) quantification (Section 3) can be reanalyzed as an integrative, first-order form of predication that fills the truth-value gaps created by summative predication. The account comprises both nominal and adverbial quantification and relates quantification to the simpler types of predication discussed in Section 2. (shrink)
If ordinary objects have temporal parts, then temporal predications have the following truth conditions: necessarily, ( a is F) at t iff a has a temporal part that is located at t and that is F. If ordinary objects have temporal counterparts, then, necessarily, ( a is F) at t iff a has a temporal counterpart that is located at t and that is F. The temporal-parts account allows temporal predication to be closed under the parthood relation: since all (...) that is required to be F at t is to have a temporal part, a t , that is located at t and that is F, every object that has a t as a temporal part is F at t . Similarly for the temporal-counterparts account. Both closure under parthood and closure under counterparthood are shown to have unacceptable consequences. Then strategies for avoiding closure are considered and rejected. (shrink)
A major problem in the interpretation of Plato's metaphysics is the question of whether he abandoned self-predication as a result of the Third Man Argument in the Parmenides. In this paper I will argue that the answer to this question must be 'no' because the self-predication assumption is still present in the Sophist.
The paper addresses the widely held position that the Third Man regress in theParmenides is caused at least in part by the self-predicational aspect of Plato's Ideas. I offer a critique of the logic behind this type of interpretation, and argue that if the Ideas are construed as genuinely applying to themselves, then the regress is dissolved. Furthermore, such an interpretation can be made technically precise by modeling Platonic Universals as non-wellfounded sets. This provides a solution to the Third Man (...) regress, and allows a consistent reading of both self-predication and the singularity of the respective Forms. (shrink)
This is the first book to approach depictive secondary predication - a hot topic in syntax and semantics research - from a crosslinguistic perspective. It maps out all the relevant phenomena and brings together critical surveys and new contributions on their morphosyntactic and semantic properties.
In this paper, we contrast English and Greek resultative secondary predication, showing that Greek lacks the productive syntactic strategy which English employs. We propose that the difference in productivity should be attributed to properties of the morphology in the two languages (namely, to the differing productivity of certain verbal affixes). Finally, we give a compositional semantics for the complex event formation in the morphology/syntax that accounts for the contrasts between resultatives in English and Greek.
The system of sevenfold predication of the Jainas, while an invaluable tool in expounding the Jaina doctrine of "non-onesidedness" (Anekāntavāda), has also been criticized for being unsystematic and contradictory. In particular, the fourth predication has been suggested to embrace a kind of irrationality. An analysis is provided here that makes clear the logical basis underlying the seven predications. An interpretation is also offered of the problematic fourth predication that renders the system free from contradiction, and it is (...) suggested that this interpretation best captures the positive spirit of Anekāntavāda. (shrink)
In his 2000 book Logical Properties Colin McGinn argues that predicates denote properties rather than sets or individuals. I support the thesis, but show that it is vulnerable to a type-incongruity objection, if properties are (modelled as) functions, unless a device for extensionalizing properties is added. Alternatively, properties may be construed as primitive intensional entities, as in George Bealer. However, I object to Bealer’s construal of predication as a primitive operation inputting two primitive entities and outputting a third primitive (...) entity. Instead I recommend we follow Pavel Tichý in construing both predication and extensionalization as instances of the primitive operation of functional application. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the issue of how predication is possible, as a significant common concern in the philosophy of language, metaphysics and semantics. A ‘subject-comment’ account is suggested in view of its constructive engagement with two relevant competing approaches, i.e., the traditional ‘subject-categorization’ account and the ‘topic-comment’ account. The suggested account views predication as a unifying two-level predication: the primary level of predication is made through recognizing and commenting on some particular attribute(s) of the (...) subject’s semantic referent as a thick object (resulting in a weaker version of Russellian proposition) and the secondary level of predication through categorizing the subject’s semantic referent into a certain group via the Fregean conceptual content of the predicate. (shrink)
Predicates involved in language and reasoning are claimed to radically differ from categories applied to objects. Human predicates are the cognitive result of a contrast between perceived objects. Object recognition alone cannot generate such operations as modification and explicit negation. The mechanism studied by Hurford constitutes at best an evolutionary prerequisite of human predication ability.
We critically investigate and refine Dunn's relevant predication, his formalisation of the notion of a real property. We argue that Dunn's original dialectical moves presuppose some interpretation of relevant identity, though none is given. We then re-motivate the proposal in a broader context, considering the prospects for a classical formalisation of real properties, particularly of Geach's implicit distinction between real and ''Cambridge'' properties. After arguing against these prospects, we turn to relevance logic, re-motivating relevant predication with Geach's distinction (...) in mind. Finally we draw out some consequences of Dunn's proposal for the theory of identity in relevance logic. (shrink)
. Three logical squares of predication or quantification, which one can even extend to logical hexagons, will be presented and analyzed. All three squares are based on ideas of the non-traditional theory of predication developed by Sinowjew and Wessel. The authors also designed a non-traditional theory of quantification. It will be shown that this theory is superfluous, since it is based on an obscure difference between two kinds of quantification and one pays a high price for differentiating in (...) this way: losing the definability between the existence- and all-quantifier. Therefore, a combination of non-traditional predication and classical quantification is preferred here. (shrink)
The Strongest Meaning Hypothesis of Dalrymple et al (1994,1998), which was originally proposed as a principle for the interpretation of reciprocals, is extended in this paper into a general principle of plural predication. This principle applies to complex predicates that are composed of lexical predicates that hold of atomic entities, and determines the pluralities in the extension of the predicate. The meaning of such a complex predicate is claimed to be the truth-conditionally strongest meaning that does not contradict lexical (...) properties of the simple predicates it contains. Weak interpretations of reciprocals (as in the books are stacked on top of each other), plural predicate conjunction (e.g. the books are old and new) and ’atomic’ distributivity in general are derived by a unified mechanism, which ’weakens’ the basic universal meanings of strong reciprocals, boolean conjunction and quantification over atomic entities. (shrink)
A free logic is one in which a singular term can fail to refer to an existent object, for example, `Vulcan' or `5/0'. This essay demonstrates the fruitfulness of a version of this non-classical logic of terms (negative free logic) by showing (1) how it can be used not only to repair a looming inconsistency in Quine's theory of predication, the most influential semantical theory in contemporary philosophical logic, but also (2) how Beeson, Farmer and Feferman, among others, use (...) it to provide a natural foundation for partial functions in programming languages. Vis à vis (2), the question is raised whether the Beeson-Farmer-Feferman approach is adequate to the treatment of partial functions in all programming languages. Gumb and the author say No, and suggest a way of handling the refractory cases by means of positive free logic. Finally, Antonelli's solution of a problem associated with the Gumb-Lambert proposal is mentioned. (shrink)
This paper describes the SNePS knowledge-representation and reasoning system. SNePS is an intensional, propositional, semantic-network processing system used for research in AI. We look at how predication is represented in such a system when it is used for cognitive modeling and natural-language understanding and generation. In particular, we discuss issues in the representation of fictional entities and the representation of propositions from <span class='Hi'>fiction</span>, using SNePS. We briefly survey four philosophical ontological theories of <span class='Hi'>fiction</span> and sketch an epistemological (...) theory of <span class='Hi'>fiction</span> (implemented in SNePS) using a story operator and rules for allowing propositions to migrate into and out of story spaces. (shrink)
Two connected themes have been at the core of the old perplexity regarding thinking and speaking about non-existent objects. One involves a question of reference. Can we refer to non-existent objects without, thereby, recognizing, in some sense, non-existent entities as objects of reference? The other involves a question about existence. Is existence a property representable by a predicate in a logically adequate symbohsm? It is argued (1) that existence is not to be construed as an attribute represented by a predicate, (...) (2) that nonnaming names introduce problems, not solutions to problems, (3) that purported properties such as self-identical are specious, and (4) that the Russell property is also seen to be specious by our consideration of predication. (shrink)
This paper reformulates and decides a certain conjecture in Dunn's Relevant Predication 1: The Formal Theory (Journal of Philosophical Logic 16, 347–381, 1987). This conjecture of Dunn's relates his object-language characterisation of a property's being relevant in a variable x to certain grammatical characterisations of relevance, analogous to some given by Helman, in Relevant Implication and Relevant Functions (to appear in Entailment: The Logic of Relevance and Necessity, vol. 2, by Alan Ross Anderson, Nuel Belnap, and J. Michael Dunn (...) et al.) In the course of the investigation this paper also investigates Kit Fine's semantics for quantified relevance logics, which appears in his appropriately titled Semantics for Quantified Relevance Logics. (shrink)
This article shows that Plato is discussing Pauline predication and Pauline self-predication in the Phaedo. The key is the recognition that the “something else” of Phaedo 103e2-5 cannot be a sensible object because any such object which participates in Form ‘X’ can sometimes appear not to be x. It is argued that Plato has not written in a straightforward manner, but rather has written a series of riddles for the reader to solve. Thus this dialogue is an example (...) of the playful use of the written word discussed at Phaedrus 275ff. (shrink)
In fact, Godel gave an important model of pure predication, where he showed that restricted comprehension without parameters is valid, but where restricted comprehension with parameters is not (although this invalidity was not established until Cohen). This is the model based on ordinal definability in set theory.
Ghazālī’s The Incoherence of the Philosophers is an unusual philosophical work for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the author’s explicit disavowalof any of the conclusions contained within it. The present essay examines some of the hermeneutical challenges that face readers of the work and offers anexegetical account of the much-neglected Third Discussion, which examines a key point of Neoplatonic metaphysics. The paper argues that Ghazālī’s maintaining of the incompatibility of metaphysical creationism and Neoplatonic emanationism should (...) not be viewed as simply a rhetorical or dialectical argument, but rather is best understood, to use Ghazālī’s words, as a philosophical “proof.” Essential to this proof in the solution to the argument of the Third Discussion is an implicit theory of metaphorical predication that can be pieced together from several of Ghazālī’s remarks as well as a reductio ad absurdum argument about the very possibility of ethical discourse. (shrink)
Dienes & Perner (D&P) link explicit knowledge of facts to predication. But predication is basically a linguistic notion. Their approach therefore makes it difficult to attribute knowledge of facts to non- language-users, such as animals. The explicit/implicit distinction, as D&P formulate it, is accordingly of little use for exploring the cognitive capacities of nonhuman primates – despite the increasing evidence for sophisticated social awareness among apes, implying mental representations of events in which participants are clearly distinguished. A revised (...) formulation, less biased toward syntax as it happens to have evolved in humans, could avoid this drawback. (shrink)
Numerical predication as in ‘Quine and Goodman are two (in number)' has been cited as a chief example of non-distributive predication that shows the need for a logic of plural terms (as opposed to the standard logic that only admits singular terms). This paper argues that numerical predicates like ‘to be two (in number)' are spurious and should be eliminated in favor of singular numerical quantifiers.
In this book, Malcolm presents a new and radical interpretation of Plato's earlier dialogues. He argues that the few cases of self-predication contained therein are acceptable simply as statements concerning universals, and that therefore Plato is not vulnerable in these cases to the Third Man Argument. In considering the middle dialogues, Malcolm takes a conservative stance, rejecting influential current doctrines which portray the Forms as being not self-predicative. He shows that the middle dialogues do indeed take Forms to be (...) both universals and paradigms, and thus to exemplify themselves. The author goes on to consider why Plato should have been unsuccessful in avoiding self-predication. He shows that Plato's concern to explain how the truths of mathematics can indeed be true played an important role in his postulation of the Form as an Ideal Individual. The author concludes with the claim that reflection on the ambiguity of the notion of the "Standard Yard" may help us to appreciate why Plato failed to distinguish Forms as universals from Forms as paradigm cases. (shrink)
AUGUSTINE WISHED TO DEFEND AND MAKE AS INTELLIGIBLE AS POSSIBLE THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY. I SHOW HOW AUGUSTINE WORKS WITH AN ARISTOTELIAN MODEL OF PREDICATION, DERIVES AN INCOMPLETENESS RESULT WITHIN THE STANDARD FORMS OF PREDICATION, AND ACCEPTS, WITH SOME QUALIFICATION, A NONSTANDARD FORM OF PREDICATION USED BY ARISTOTLE FOR PREDICATING PRIMARY SUBSTANCE OF MATTER.
Tyler Burge convinced us that names are predicates in at least some of their occurrences: -/- There are relatively few Alfreds in Princeton. -/- Names, when predicates, satisfy the being-called condition: schematically, a name "N" is true of a thing just in case that thing is called N. This paper defends the unified view that names are predicates in all of their occurrences. I follow Clarence Sloat, Paul Elbourne, and Ora Matushansky in saying that when a name seems to occur (...) bare in an argument position of a predicate, it is really occurring in the predicate position of a definite description with an unpronounced "the". I call these "denuded definite descriptions". There are good linguistic reasons for defending the denuded-definites view. For example, it explains why "the" cannot be dropped in a sentence like the following: -/- The ever-popular Bill will be speaking this afternoon; The taller Maria is downstairs. -/- The definite article occuring before a name doesn't get pronounced when it's right next to the name. In technical terms, it gets smushed together with it. But the smushing can't happen when another phrase intervenes. The view survives philosophical objections. Denuded definite descriptions with names are incomplete definite descriptions since most names have mutliple bearers. Incomplete definite descriptions are in general rigid, though. So the view survives Kripke's modal argument. (shrink)
One of the characteristic features of contemporary logic is that it incorporates the Frege-Russell thesis according to which verbs for being are multiply ambiguous. This thesis was not accepted before the nineteenth century. In Aristotle existence could not serve alone as a predicate term. However, it could be a part of the force of the predicate term, depending on the context. For Kant existence could not even be a part of the force of the predicate term. Hence, after Kant, existence (...) was left homeless. It found a home in the algebra of logic in which the operators corresponding to universal and particular judgments were treated as duals, and universal judgments were taken to be relative to some universe of discourse. Because of the duality, existential quantifier expressions came to express existence. The orphaned notion of existence thus found a new home in the existential quantifier. (shrink)
Abstract This paper contrasts the scholastic realisms of David Armstrong and Charles Peirce. It is argued that the so-called ?problem of universals? is not a problem in pure ontology (concerning whether universals exist) as Armstrong construes it to be. Rather, it extends to issues concerning which predicates should be applied where, issues which Armstrong sets aside under the label of ?semantics?, and which from a Peircean perspective encompass even the fundamentals of scientific methodology. It is argued that Peirce's scholastic realism (...) not only presents a more nuanced ontology (distinguishing the existent from the real) but also provides more of a sense of why realism should be a position worth fighting for. (shrink)
This is a book about some of the basic concepts of metaphysics: universals, particulars, causality, and possibility. Its aim is to give an account of the real constituents of the world. The author defends a realistic view of universals, characterizing the notion of universal by considering language and logic, possibility, hierarchies of universals, and causation. On the other hand, he argues that logic and language are not reliable guides to the nature of reality. All assertions and predications about the natural (...) world are ultimately founded on "basic universals," which are the fundamental type of universal and central to causation. A distinction is drawn between unified particulars (which have a natural principle of unity) and arbitrary particulars (which lack such a principle); unified particulars are the terms of causal relations and thus real constituents of the world. Arbitrary particulars such as events, states of affairs, and sets have no ontological significance. (shrink)
I offer a brief formal exploration of a certain natural extension of the notion of rigidity to predicates, the notion of an essentialist predicate. I show that, under reasonable assumptions, true "identification sentences" involving essentialist predicates (such as 'Cats are animals') are necessary, and hence that the notion of essentiality is formally analogous in this respect to the notion of singular term rigidity. /// El artículo hace una breve exploración formal de una extensión natural de la noción de rigidez a (...) los predicados, la noción de predicado esencialista. Muestro que, dados supuestos razonables, las "oraciones de identificación" verdaderas que contienen predicados esencialistas (por ejemplo, 'Los gatos son animales') son necesarias, y por tanto que la noción de esencialidad es formalmente análoga en este sentido a la noción de rigidez para los términos singulares. (shrink)
In an attempt to accommodate natural language phenomena involving nominalization and self-application, various researchers in formal semantics have proposed abandoning the hierarchical type system which Montague inherited from Russell, in favour of more flexible type regimes. We briefly review the main extant proposals, and then develop a new approach, based semantically on Aczel's notion of Frege structure, which implements a version ofsubsumption polymorphism. Nominalization is achieved by virtue of the fact that the types of predicative and propositional complements are contained (...) in the type of individuals. Russell's paradox is avoided by placing a type-constraint on lambda-abstraction, rather than by restricting comprehension. (shrink)
Egan argues against Lewis’s view that properties are sets of actual and possible individuals and in favour of the view that they are functions from worlds to extensions (sets of individuals). Egan argues that Lewis’s view implies that 2nd order properties are never possessed contingently by their (1st order) bearers, an implication to which there are numerous counter-examples. And Egan argues that his account of properties is more commensurable with the role they play as the semantic values of predicates than (...) is Lewis’s. (shrink)
En el presente artículo se examinan algunos de los problemas suscitados por el análisis lógico de la predicación colectiva (aquella en la que un predicado se aplica colectivamente a una pluralidad de sujetos). Su tratamiento habitual en lógica de primer orden no es del todo satisfactorio, y la búsqueda de otros modos de representación abre interesantes perspectivas. Se investiga, en particular, la introducción de predicados poligraduados, señalando algunas deficiencias e insuficiencias en la literatura reciente sobre los mismos. Argumento que la (...) oposición colectivo/distributivo debe localizarse en la estructura lógica dei enunciado en cuestión. /// In this paper I investigate the logical analysis of statements in which a predicate applies collectively to a plurality of subjects. The standard treatment of such cases in first-order logic is not completely satisfactory, and the search for alternative modes of representation opens up interesting perspectives. I concentrate on the introduction of multigrade predicates, pointing out a number of weaknesses in the current literature on the subject. I argue that the collective/distributive opposition must be located in the logical structure of the statement in question. (shrink)
Scot Soames’ new book, What is Meaning, is an important book, both in the issues it raises and in its shortcomings. It is the first serious discussion of meaning (not “semantic content” or some other term of art designed to sidestep the real issue) by a leading analytic philosopher of language in a long while, and its findings lead towards a more realistic understanding of meaning and language.In his account, Soames uses the notion of cognitive event to account for the (...) unity of the proposition, but, crucially, his choice of predication as the centerpiece of this account undermines it. Furthermore, Soames appears oblivious of the existence of empirical and theoretical studies examining the connection between actual cognitive events and linguistic structure - studies that rather point to the irrelevance of the philosophical approach he is adopting. (shrink)
An account of non-existing objects called 'classical possibilism', according to which objects that don't actually exist do exist in various other ways, is implemented in a two-dimensional modal logic with non-traditional predication theory. This account is very similar to Priest's, but preserves bivalence and does not endorse dialethism. The power of classical possibilism is illustrated by giving some examples that makes use of a description theory of reference. However, the same effect could also be achieved in a more Millian (...) fashion. It is argued that classical possibilism is ontologically more neutral than is commonly thought, because it allows for the formulation of various forms of reductionism within the object language. (shrink)
"The Sophist seems to be concerned with two things: being and nonbeing, on the one hand, and true and false speech, on the other. If speech is either true or false speech, it seems not even plausible for being to be either being or nonbeing, since we would then be compelled to say that nonbeing is as much being as false speech is speech. If nonbeing, however, is being, then nonbeing cannot be nonbeing, for otherwise the falseness of false speech (...) would not consist in its saying 'nonbeing.' And, in turn, if nonbeing is nonbeing, the falseness of' false speech again cannot consist in its saying 'nonbeing,' for it would then not be saying anything. If we then say that nonbeing is appearing, and appearing is not unqualified nonbeing, being is being and appearing, and we want to distinguish between the strict identity which belongs to being and the likeness of' nonbeing to the strict identity of being. We say, then, 'Here is Socrates himself' and 'Here is a likeness of Socrates.' Everything in the likeness of Socrates that is a likeness of' Socrates himself will generate a true speech of Socrates identical to another speech true of Socrates himself. Everything, how ever, in the likeness of Socrates that is not a likeness of Socrates himself yields a false speech of Socrates. Among the false speeches of Socrates would be, for example, the paint on Socrates' portrait but not the color of the paint that is true of Socrates himself. The paint, then, without the color (per impossibile), is not true of Socrates, but it certainly is not a likeness of Socrates either. The paint must be together with its color in order for it to be both a likeness of Socrates and nonbeing, but it seems to be utterly mysterious how by being together it can be that and by being apart it ceases to be anything of the sort. If every thing then is just what it is and nothing else, it is impossible for there to be any speech, either true or false, for speech is impossible unless something can be put together with something else.. (shrink)
Language and Ontology: Linguistic Relativism (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) vs. Universal Grammar Universal Ontology vs. Ontological Relativity Semiotics and Ontology: Annotated Bibliography of John Deely. First part: 1965-1998 Annotated Bibliography of John Deely. Second part: 1999-2010 The Rediscovery of John Poinsot (John of St. Thomas).
The paper argues that cognitive states of biological systems are inherently temporal. Three adequacy conditions for neuronal models of representation are vindicated: the compositionality of meaning, the compositionality of content, and the co-variation with content. Classicist and connectionist approaches are discussed and rejected. Based on recent neurobiological data, oscillatory networks are introduced as a third alternative. A mathematical description in a Hilbert space framework is developed. The states of this structure can be regarded as conceptual representations satisfying the three conditions.
Propositionalism is the view that intentional attitudes, such as belief, are relations to propositions. Propositionalists argue that propositionalism follows from the intuitive validity of certain kinds of inferences involving attitude reports. Jubien (2001) argues powerfully against propositions and sketches some interesting positive proposals, based on Russell’s multiple relation theory of judgment, about how to accommodate “propositional phenomena” without appeal to propositions. This paper argues that none of Jubien’s proposals succeeds in accommodating an important range of propositional phenomena, such as the (...) aforementioned validity of attitude-report inferences. It then shows that the notion of a predication act-type, which remains importantly Russellian in spirit, is sufficient to explain the range of propositional phenomena in question, in particular the validity of attitude-report inferences. The paper concludes with a discussion of whether predication act-types are really just propositions by another name. (shrink)