Real Properties, Relevance Logic, and Identity

Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh (1994)

Philip Kremer
University of Toronto at Scarborough
There is an intuition, notoriously difficult to formalise, that only some predicates express real properties. J. M. Dunn formalises this intuition with relevance logic, proposing a notion of relevant predication. For each first order formula Ax, Dunn specifies another formula that is intuitively interpreted as "Ax expresses a real property". Chapter I calls such an approach an object language approach, since the claim that Ax expresses a real property is rendered as a formula in the object language. On a metalanguage approach, on the other hand, the claim that Ax expresses a real property would be metalinguistic, mentioning but not using the formula Ax. ;Our Introduction begins by investigating Dunn's motivation for relevant predication, and argues that it implicitly presupposes some interpretation of identity. Indeed, part of the dissertation's work is to use relevant predication as a key to a coherent account of relevant identity. ;Chapter I re-motivates relevant predication. We consider P. Geach's distinction between real and "Cambridge" change, and suggest that there is an underlying distinction between real and Cambridge predicates. We further argue that no classical object language approach can formalise this distinction. So we turn to relevance logic, remotivating relevant predication, with Geach's distinction in mind. ;In light of this new motivation, we argue that relevant prediction relies on a logically weak notion of identity, according to which "x = y" means "x and y share all relevant properties". Identity is taken up in a more technical setting in Chapters IV and V. ;Subsequent chapters investigate technical issues that flow from Chapter I. Chapter II investigates metalinguistic grammatical characterisations of relevant predication. Chapter III concerns the semantics of first order relevance logic. Chapter IV investigates the identity in R and its relationship to relevant predication. In particular, Chapter IV argues against introducing the axiom, $\to$ Ay), in relevance logic, since the resulting systems are unstable, in a sense motivated by the notion of relevant identity underlying Dunn's notion of relevant predication. Finally Chapter V investigates the possibility of a coherent theory of identity in R's modal relatives ${\bf R}\sp\square$ and E.
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Relevant Identity.Philip Kremer - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 28 (2):199-222.

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