Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language

Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag (2018)
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Logical form has always been a prime concern for philosophers belonging to the analytic tradition. For at least one century, the study of logical form has been widely adopted as a method of investigation, relying on its capacity to reveal the structure of thoughts or the constitution of facts. This book focuses on the very idea of logical form, which is directly relevant to any principled reflection on that method. Its central thesis is that there is no such thing as a correct answer to the question of what is logical form: two significantly different notions of logical form are needed to fulfil two major theoretical roles that pertain respectively to logic and to semantics. This thesis has a negative and a positive side. The negative side is that a deeply rooted presumption about logical form turns out to be overly optimistic: there is no unique notion of logical form that can play both roles. The positive side is that the distinction between two notions of logical form, once properly spelled out, sheds light on some fundamental issues concerning the relation between logic and language.



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The suggestion that emerges from the discussion of the uniqueness thesis is that two significantly different notions of logical form may be contemplated: the truth-conditional notion, which suits the logical role, and the syntactic notion, which suits the semantic role. Since the suitability of the ... see more

Further Issues Concerning Quantification

This chapter develops the analysis of quantified sentences sketched in Chap. 10.1007/978-3-319-74154-3_8. First, it draws a distinction between two senses in which a quantifier expression can be said to be vague, and outlines an account of the distinction that rests on independently grounded assumpt... see more

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This chapter spells out some major epistemological implications of the truth-conditional view, which concern the relation between logical knowledge and knowledge of logical form. The interesting fact that will emerge is that the truth-conditional view provides a perspective on such relation that rad... see more

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Two distinct theoretical roles may be regarded as constitutive of a notion of logical form, the logical role and the semantic role. Therefore, one may ask whether a single notion can fulfil both roles. Most of those who accept the current conception of logical form seem to take for granted that the ... see more

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The term ‘logical form’ is generally used to denote a property of sentences. The property denoted is called ‘logical’ because it is regarded as important from the logical point of view, and it is called ‘form’ because it is taken to be distinct from the specific semantic features that constitute the... see more

Formal Languages and Natural Languages

The old conception of logical form did not survive the problems that emerged in connection with the dichotomy between natural language and logically perfect language. After Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein, the ideal of logical perfection lost traction. However, the spirit of that conception did not... see more

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The thesis that the logical role and the semantic role require two different notions of logical form has a negative and a positive side. The negative side, as we have seen, is that a deep-rooted presumption turns out to be overly optimistic: there is no unique notion that suits both roles. The posit... see more

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Andrea Iacona
Università di Torino

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On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Inquiries Into Truth And Interpretation.Donald Davidson - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
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