On Understanding Leśniewski

History and Philosophy of Logic 3 (2):165-191 (1982)
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Abstract

This paper assesses those features of Lesniewski's Ontology which make it difficult to understand for logicians accustomed to more orthodox systems of logic. It is seen that certain general features of presentation and content can, by selective acceptance or modification, be accommodated with a fairly orthodox viewpoint. The chief difficulty lies in the interpretation of Le?niewski's names, and the constant ???. Four interpretations are suggested in turn: Le?niewski's names as monadic predicates; as class terms; as common nouns; and as empty, singular or plural terms. This last and least orthodox interpretation is argued to be the most suitable, but it is shown how it can be made to live in harmony with either the common noun or the class interpretation

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Peter Simons
Trinity College, Dublin

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