About this topic
Summary The logical form of a sentence (or class of sentences) is the way the sentence is constructed out of a stock of basic vocabulary items, including a stock of distinguished logical constants (such as the familiar sentential connectives and quantifiers). A sentence's logical form determines its formal inferential relations to other sentences, and it is often thought to be important for accounting for the way the meaning of the sentence is determined by the meanings of its parts. The logical form of a sentence is not always apparent from its surface form, and there is a tradition of thinking of the logical form of a sentence as reflecting the structure of the extra-linguistic fact or state of affairs to which it corresponds. Questions about the "true" or "underlying" logical forms of some relevant class of sentences are often taken to be important for deciding issues in metaphysics and (especially) ontology. The notion of logical form is sometimes applied to propositions or mental state contents, as well as to sentences.
Key works Classic works include Wittgenstein 1922Russell 1905, Geach 1962Evans 1976 and May 1985. Cargile 2009 contains an oft-overlooked but very good discussion of some of the philosophical difficulties about logical form. Parsons 1990, building on the proposal in Davidson 1967, has been extremely influential in stimulating recent work on logical form. Preyer & Peter 2002 is a valuable recent collection.
Introductions The introductory logic textbook Barwise & Etchemendy 1999 pays special attention to the relationship between logical form and meaning.
Related categories

282 found
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  1. added 2018-11-30
    Iacona, A., Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language. Springer International, 2018, Pp. Vi + 133. [REVIEW]Alessandro Torza - 2018 - Argumenta (7):197-201.
  2. added 2018-08-26
    Context Update for Lambdas and Vectors.Reinhard Muskens & Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh - 2016 - In Maxime Amblard, Philippe de Groote, Sylvain Pogodalla & Christian Retoré (eds.), Logical Aspects of Computational Linguistics. Celebrating 20 Years of LACL (1996--2016). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 247--254.
    Vector models of language are based on the contextual aspects of words and how they co-occur in text. Truth conditional models focus on the logical aspects of language, the denotations of phrases, and their compositional properties. In the latter approach the denotation of a sentence determines its truth conditions and can be taken to be a truth value, a set of possible worlds, a context change potential, or similar. In this short paper, we develop a vector semantics for language based (...)
  3. added 2018-06-21
    The Subject Verb Object Class II.Joseph Almog - 1998 - Noûs 32 (S12):77 - 104.
  4. added 2018-06-21
    The Subject Verb Object Class I.Joseph Almog - 1998 - Philosophical Perspectives 12 (S12):39-76.
  5. added 2018-06-21
    On the Role of Deep Subjects in Semantic Interpretation.Steven R. Anderson - 1971 - Foundations of Language 7 (3):361-377.
  6. added 2018-05-11
    Sub-sentential logical form. On Robert J. Stainton's "words and thoughts".Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia - 2011 - Critica 43 (129):53-63.
    Stainton argues that since sub-sentential speech acts lack the proper syntactic structure to have logical form, it is not from them that subsententially propositions conveyed derive their logical form, in this brief comment, I develop an argument for the claim that sub-sentential speech acts not only do have the proper syntactic structure, but that according to Stainton's own general pragmatic account of sub-sentential speech, they also satisfy all the criteria put forward by him to be the primary bearers of logical (...)
  7. added 2018-03-05
    The Concept Horse is a Concept.Ansten Klev - 2018 - Review of Symbolic Logic 11 (3):547-572.
    I offer an analysis of the sentence "the concept horse is a concept". It will be argued that the grammatical subject of this sentence, "the concept horse", indeed refers to a concept, and not to an object, as Frege once held. The argument is based on a criterion of proper-namehood according to which an expression is a proper name if it is so rendered in Frege's ideography. The predicate "is a concept", on the other hand, should not be thought of (...)
  8. added 2018-03-05
    Extensionality, Indirect Contexts and Frege's Hierarchy.Nicholas Koziolek - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (3):431-462.
    It is well known that Frege was an extensionalist, in the following sense: he held that the truth-value of a sentence is always a function only of the references of its parts. One consequence of this view is that expressions occurring in certain linguistic contexts – for example, the that-clauses of propositional attitude ascriptions – do not have their usual references, but refer instead to what are usually their senses. But although a number of philosophers have objected to this result, (...)
  9. added 2018-02-18
    Paradoxes: A Study in Form and Predication.James Cargile - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    The ancient semantic paradoxes were thought to undermine the rationalist metaphysics of Plato, and their modern relatives have been used by Russell and others to administer some severe logical and epistemological shocks. These are not just tricks or puzzles, but are intimately connected with some of the liveliest and most basic philosophical disputes about logical form, universals, reference and predication. Dr Cargile offers here an original and sustained treatment of this range of issues, and in fact presents an unfashionable defence (...)
  10. added 2018-02-17
    Logic and Semantics in the Twentieth Century.Gabriel Sandu & Tuomo Aho - 2008 - In Leila Haaparanta (ed.), The Development of Modern Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 562.
    This chapter explores logical semantics, that is, the structural meaning of logical expressions like connectives, quantifiers, and modalities. It focuses on truth-theoretical semantics for formalized languages, a tradition emerging from Carnap's and Tarski's work in the first half of the last century that specifies the meaning of these expressions in terms of the truth-conditions of the sentences in which they occur. It considers Tarski-style definitions of the semantics of a given language in a stronger metalanguage, Tarski's impossibility results, and attempts (...)
  11. added 2018-02-17
    Beth Too, but Only If.Achille C. Varzi - 2005 - Analysis 65 (3):224-229.
    On the difficulty of extracting the logical form of a seemingly simple sentence such as ‘If Andy went to the movie then Beth went too, but only if she found a taxi cab’, with some morals and questions on the nature of the difficulty.
  12. added 2018-02-17
    Truth, Logical Structure, and Compositionality.Gila Sher - 2001 - Synthese 126 (1):195-219.
    In this paper I examine a cluster of concepts relevant to the methodology of truth theories: 'informative definition', 'recursive method', 'semantic structure', 'logical form', 'compositionality', etc. The interrelations between these concepts, I will try to show, are more intricate and multi-dimensional than commonly assumed.
  13. added 2018-02-16
    IX—Understanding and Theories of Meaning.R. M. Sainsbury - 1979 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 80 (1):127-144.
  14. added 2017-12-21
    Husserl on Meaning, Grammar, and the Structure of Content.Matteo Bianchin - 2018 - Husserl Studies 34 (2):101-121.
    Husserl’s Logical Grammar is intended to explain how complex expressions can be constructed out of simple ones so that their meaning turns out to be determined by the meanings of their constituent parts and the way they are put together. Meanings are thus understood as structured contents and classified into formal categories to the effect that the logical properties of expressions reflect their grammatical properties. As long as linguistic meaning reduces to the intentional content of pre-linguistic representations, however, it is (...)
  15. added 2017-06-30
    Talking About Numbers: Easy Arguments for Mathematical Realism. [REVIEW]Richard Lawrence - 2017 - History and Philosophy of Logic 38 (4):390-394.
  16. added 2017-06-13
    Strict and Non-Strict Negative Concord in Hungarian: A Unified Analysis.Anna Szabolcsi - 2018 - In Huba Bartos, Bánréti, M. Den Dikken & Váradi (eds.), Boundaries crossed, at the crossroads of morphosyntax, phonology, pragmatics and semantics. Dordrecht: Springer.
    Surányi (2006) observed that Hungarian has a hybrid (strict + non-strict) negative concord system. This paper proposes a uniform analysis of that system within the general framework of Zeijlstra (2004, 2008) and, especially, Chierchia (2013), with the following new ingredients. Sentential negation NEM is the same full negation in the presence of both strict and non-strict concord items. Preverbal SENKI `n-one’ type negative concord items occupy the specifier position of either NEM `not' or SEM `nor'. The latter, SEM spells out (...)
  17. added 2017-04-11
    Problems in the Representation of the Logical Form of Generics, Plurals, and Mass Nouns.Lenhart K. Schubert & Francis Jeffry Pelletier - 1987 - In Ernest Lepore (ed.), New Directions in Semantics. Academic Press.
  18. added 2017-03-19
    Content and Composition. An Essay on Tense, Content and Semantic Value.Sara Packalén - 2016 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    A remarkable thing about natural language is that we can use it to share our beliefs and thoughts about the world with other speakers of our language. In cases of successful communication, beliefs seem to be transferred from speakers to hearers by means of the hearer recovering the contents of the speaker’s utterances. This is so natural to us that we take it for granted in our everyday life, and rarely stop to think about how it's is possible. Nevertheless, it's (...)
  19. added 2017-02-15
    Critical Notice of Raul Orayen's Logica, Significado y Ontologia.Lorenzo Peña - 1995 - Sorites 2:76-94.
    Orayen proposes some kind of intensional approach in philosophy of logic, with meanings playing a central role in implementing the notion of logical truth. Orayen regards Quine as his main interlocutor. The major topic gone into through the book is logical form, validity and logical truth. As an outgrowth, Quine's operationalist view of language receives an extensive coverage and discussion. The investigation into the notion of logical truth and validity leads to a critical assessment of the relevantist challenge to the (...)
  20. added 2017-02-14
    Non-Declarative Sentences.John-Michael Kuczynski - forthcoming - Principia.
    If S is any well-formed and significant question or command having the form "...the phi...", Russell's Theory of Descriptions entails (i) that S is syntactically ambiguous, and (ii) that there is at least one disambiguation of S that is syntactically ill-formed. Given that each of (i) and (ii) is false, so is the Theory of Descriptions.
  21. added 2017-02-13
    Treatment of Legal Sentences Including Itemized and Referential Expressions–Towards Translation Into Logical Forms.Yusuke Kimura, Makoto Nakamura & Akira Shimazu - 2009 - In Hattori (ed.), New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence. Springer. pp. 242--253.
  22. added 2017-02-13
    Conceptual Realism as a Theory of Logical Form.Nino Cocchiarella - 1997 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 51 (200):175-199.
  23. added 2017-02-13
    Quantification, Ellipses, and Logical Form'.S. Weisler - 1987 - In Jay L. Garfield (ed.), Modularity in Knowledge Representation and Natural-Language Understanding. MIT Press. pp. 151--172.
  24. added 2017-02-13
    Expressing Logical Formulas in Natural Language.Joyce Friedman - 1981 - In Jeroen Groenendijk (ed.), Formal Methods in the Study of Language. U of Amsterdam. pp. 113--130.
  25. added 2017-02-10
    Chateaubriand on the Productivity of Language.Paul Gochet - 2008 - Manuscrito 31 (1):445-461.
    In this paper, Chateaubriand’s account of the productivity of language is put to an historical perspective. Its philosophical significance is assessed. It is shown how it could be expanded to accommodate recent findings of professional linguists.O presente artigo analisa o tratamento da produtividade da linguagem oferecido por Chateaubriand de uma perspectiva histórica. Seu significado filosófico é avaliado. Também se mostra que este tratamento poderia ser expandido de forma a incluir descobertas recentes de lingüistas profissionais.
  26. added 2017-02-10
    Chateaubriand on the Slingshot Arguments.Marco Ruffino - 2004 - Manuscrito 27 (1):201-209.
    The purpose of this paper is to discuss Chateaubriand’s criticism of the so-called slingshot arguments, particularly of those versions proposed by Church and by Gödel . I concentrate on two critical points made by Chateaubriand, and argue that they are not decisive against these versions of the slingshot. I also discuss Chateaubriand’s hybrid theory of definite descriptions and argue that, despite its intrinsic interest, it cannot avoid the conclusion of the slingshot.
  27. added 2017-02-10
    The Logical Force of Expressions.Friedrich Waismann - 1980 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 10:7-20.
    It seems to make perfectly good sense to distinguish between what is expressed and the way in which it is expressed. There is little doubt that there are many different ways of saying the same thing open to us. If I denied this, I would certainly be wrong. And yet a word of caution may not be amiss. Among logicians a tendency has grown up to concentrate their attention on those properties of a statement which make it true or false, (...)
  28. added 2017-02-08
    Interpreted Logical Forms: A Critique.Robert Fiengo & Robert May - 1996 - Rivista Di Linguistica 8 (2):349-373.
    Interpreted Logical Forms are objects composed of a syntactic structure annotated with the semantic values of each node of the structure. We criticize the view that ILFs are the objects of propositional attitude verbs such as believe, as this is developed by Larson and Ludlow. Our critique arises from a tension in the way that sen-.
  29. added 2017-02-08
    Logical Forms in Context.Asa Kasher - 1973 - The Monist 57 (3):371-395.
  30. added 2017-02-07
    Art Without Form.Helen Wodehouse - 1941 - Philosophy 16 (62):207 - 209.
  31. added 2017-01-31
    The Logical Form of Universal Generalizations.Alice Drewery - unknown
  32. added 2017-01-31
    The Logical Form of Universal Generalizations.Alice Drewery - unknown
  33. added 2017-01-31
    The Logical Form of Universal Generalizations.Alice Drewery - unknown
  34. added 2017-01-29
    Argument Structure in Hindi.Tara Mohanan - 1994
  35. added 2017-01-28
    The Logical Form of Ethical Language: Radical Translation, Morals, and the Good.Samuel Crane Wheeler - 1970 - Dissertation, Princeton University
  36. added 2017-01-27
    Samples and Logical Form.M. Yoes - 2007 - Sorites 18:7-9.
    This paper concerns a puzzle about the logical form of expressions involving repeated `and's. Obvious attempts to solve the problem fail. It happens that a proper solution surprisingly requires the semantic notions of sampling and expression. I speculate that this may provide an alternative to conversational implicature.
  37. added 2017-01-26
    Towards Translation of Legal Sentences Into Logical Forms.Makoto Nakamura, Shunsuke Nobuoka & Akira Shimazu - 2008 - In Satoh (ed.), New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence. Springer. pp. 349--362.
  38. added 2017-01-26
    Russell's Logical Form, LF, and Truth Conditions.Bernard Linsky - 2002 - In Gerhard Preyer Georg Peter (ed.), Logical Form and Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 391--408.
  39. added 2017-01-26
    The Logical Structure of Action Sentences (2 Analytical Exercises). 2.P. Kolar & V. Svoboda - 1992 - Filosoficky Casopis 40 (4):661-671.
  40. added 2017-01-26
    The Logical Structure of Action Sentences 2 Analytical Exercises-Conclusion.P. Kolar & V. Svoboda - 1992 - Filosoficky Casopis 40 (5):887-905.
  41. added 2017-01-25
    An Algebraic Analysis of the Logical Form of Propositions.Daniel Vanderveken & Marek Nowak - forthcoming - Logique Et Analyse.
  42. added 2017-01-25
    Multiplicitasunddistinctioals Charakteristisches Thema Derlogica Modernainnerhalb Derars Disputationis.Peter Schulthess - 2009 - Recherches de Theologie Et Philosophie Medievales 76 (2):287-334.
    Ambiguity and its distinctio or divisio is part of a theory of significatio that deals with sense and reference. Like deductio, or more generally disputatio, it is a core issue in the logica moderna. This distinctio essentially amounts to analysis or, more specifically, disambiguation of language, signification and arguments, in order to secure smooth disputation. This distinctio is found at the root of many developments and key issues in the logica moderna. It opens the way for the theoretical dependency of (...)
  43. added 2017-01-23
    Chateaubriand on Logical Truth and Second-Order Logic: Reflections on Some Issues of Logical Forms II.Guillermo Haddock - 2008 - Manuscrito 31 (1):163-178.
    In this short paper I am concerned with basically two especially important issues in Oswaldo Chateaubriand’s Logical Forms II; namely, the dispute between first- and higher-order logic and his conception of logical truth and related notions, like logical property, logical state of affairs and logical falsehood. The first issue was also present in the first volume of the book, but the last is privative of the second volume. The extraordinary significance of both issues for philosophy is emphasized and, though there (...)
  44. added 2017-01-19
    Musings on the Roles of Logical and Non-Logical Representations in Intelligence.Aaron Sloman - 1995 - In [Book Chapter].
    This paper offers a short and biased overview of the history of discussion and controversy about the role of different forms of representation in intelligent agents. It repeats and extends some of the criticisms of the `logicist' approach to AI that I first made in 1971, while also defending logic for its power and generality. It identifies some common confusions regarding the role of visual or diagrammatic reasoning including confusions based on the fact that different forms of representation may be (...)
  45. added 2017-01-18
    The Number of Logical Forms.Jonathan Bennett - 1952 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):177 – 187.
  46. added 2017-01-17
    Analysis, Independence, Simplicity, and the General Sentence-Form.Thomas Ricketts - 2014 - Philosophical Topics 42 (2):263-288.
    The first section of the paper argues that, in the context of Wittgenstein’s intentional understanding of the truth-functional construction of sentences, the independence of elementary sentences is required for every application of a truth-operation to have the same significance. The second section of the paper presents a ‘top-down’ interpretation of Tractarian analysis. There is no characterization of the bottom level of analysis apart from the general sentence-form; the only constraint on analysis is that apparently manifest logical relationships among colloquial sentences (...)
  47. added 2017-01-17
    The Logical Form of Universal Generalizations.Alice Drewery - unknown
  48. added 2017-01-17
    The Logical Form of Universal Generalizations.Alice Drewery - unknown
  49. added 2017-01-16
    The Importance of Being Ernesto. Reference, Truth and Logical Form.A. Bianchi, V. Morato & G. Spolaore (eds.) - 2016 - Padova University Press.
  50. added 2017-01-16
    Interpreted Logical Forms.Michelle Montague - 2005 - In Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd Edition. Elesvier.
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