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Profile: Gila Sher (University of California, San Diego)
  1. Gila Sher (1991). The Bounds of Logic: A Generalized Viewpoint. MIT Press.
    The Bounds of Logic presents a new philosophical theory of the scope and nature of logic based on critical analysis of the principles underlying modern Tarskian logic and inspired by mathematical and linguistic development. Extracting central philosophical ideas from Tarski’s early work in semantics, Sher questions whether these are fully realized by the standard first-order system. The answer lays the foundation for a new, broader conception of logic. By generally characterizing logical terms, Sher establishes a fundamental result in semantics. Her (...)
     
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  2.  36
    Gila Sher (1996). Did Tarski Commit "Tarski's Fallacy"? Journal of Symbolic Logic 61 (2):653-686.
  3.  38
    Gila Sher (2004). In Search of a Substantive Theory of Truth. Journal of Philosophy 101 (1):5 - 36.
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  4.  5
    Gila Sher (2013). Forms of Correspondence: The Intricate Route From Thought to Reality. In Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen & Cory Wright (eds.), Truth and Pluralism: Current Debates. Oxford University Press. pp. 157--179.
    The paper delineates a new approach to truth that falls under the category of “Pluralism within the bounds of correspondence”, and illustrates it with respect to mathematical truth. Mathematical truth, like all other truths, is based on correspondence, but the route of mathematical correspondence differs from other routes of correspondence in (i) connecting mathematical truths to a special aspect of reality, namely, its formal aspect, and (ii) doing so in a complex, indirect way, rather than in a simple and direct (...)
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  5.  30
    Gila Sher (2005). Functional Pluralism. Philosophical Books 46 (4):311-330.
    This is a critique of Michael P. Lynch’s functional pluralism with respect to truth. The paper is sympathetic to Lynch’s overall approach to truth, but is critical of (i) his platitudinous characterization of the general principles of truth, (ii) his excessive pluralism with respect to the “realizers” of truth, (iii) his treatment of atomic truth, and (iv) his analysis of “mixed” logical inferences. The paper concludes with a proposal for a functional pluralism that puts greater emphasis on the unity of (...)
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  6.  7
    Gila Sher (2016). Substantivism About Truth. Philosophy Compass 11 (12):818-828.
    Substantivism is a general philosophical methodology advocating a substantive approach to philosophical theorizing. In this article, I present an overview of this methodology with a special emphasis on the field of truth. I begin with a framework for understanding what is at stake in the substantivist–deflationist debate and describe the substantivist critique of deflationism. I then proceed to discuss contemporary substantivism as a positive methodology, present examples of recent substantivist theories of truth, delineate several principles of philosophical substantivism, and connect (...)
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  7.  73
    Gila Sher (2010). Epistemic Friction: Reflections on Knowledge, Truth, and Logic. Erkenntnis 72 (2):151-176.
    Knowledge requires both freedom and friction . Freedom to set up our epistemic goals, choose the subject matter of our investigations, espouse cognitive norms, design research programs, etc., and friction (constraint) coming from two directions: the object or target of our investigation, i.e., the world in a broad sense, and our mind as the sum total of constraints involving the knower. My goal is to investigate the problem of epistemic friction, the relation between epistemic friction and freedom, the viability of (...)
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  8. Gila Sher (2011). Is Logic in the Mind or in the World? Synthese 181 (2):353 - 365.
    The paper presents an outline of a unified answer to five questions concerning logic: (1) Is logic in the mind or in the world? (2) Does logic need a foundation? What is the main obstacle to a foundation for logic? Can it be overcome? (3) How does logic work? What does logical form represent? Are logical constants referential? (4) Is there a criterion of logicality? (5) What is the relation between logic and mathematics?
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  9.  36
    Gila Sher (1990). Ways of Branching Quantifers. Linguistics and Philosophy 13 (4):393 - 422.
    Branching quantifiers were first introduced by L. Henkin in his 1959 paper ‘Some Remarks on Infmitely Long Formulas’. By ‘branching quantifiers’ Henkin meant a new, non-linearly structured quantiiier-prefix whose discovery was triggered by the problem of interpreting infinitistic formulas of a certain form} The branching (or partially-ordered) quantifier-prefix is, however, not essentially infinitistic, and the issues it raises have largely been discussed in the literature in the context of finitistic logic, as they will be here. Our discussion transcends, however, the (...)
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  10.  86
    Gila Sher (2003). A Characterization of Logical Constants is Possible. Theoria 18 (2):189-198.
    The paper argues that a philosophically informative and mathematically precise characterization is possible by (i) describing a particular proposal for such a characterization, (ii) showing that certain criticisms of this proposal are incorrect, and (iii) discussing the general issue of what a characterization of logical constants aims at achieving.
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  11.  91
    Gila Sher (1998). On the Possibility of a Substantive Theory of Truth. Synthese 117 (1):133-172.
  12. Gila Sher (1999). Is Logic a Theory of the Obvious? European Review of Philosophy 4:207-238.
     
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  13. Gila Sher (1996). Logical Consequence. In D. M. Borchert (ed.), Supplement to the Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan. pp. 310-312.
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  14.  61
    Gila Sher (2008). Tarski's Thesis. In Douglas Patterson (ed.), New Essays on Tarski and Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 300--339.
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  15. Gila Sher & Cory Wright (2007). Truth as a Normative Modality of Cognitive Acts. In Geo Siegwart & Dirk Griemann (eds.), Truth and Speech Acts: Studies in the Philosophy of Language. Routledge. pp. 280-306.
    Attention to the conversational role of alethic terms seems to dominate, and even sometimes exhaust, many contemporary analyses of the nature of truth. Yet, because truth plays a role in judgment and assertion regardless of whether alethic terms are expressly used, such analyses cannot be comprehensive or fully adequate. A more general analysis of the nature of truth is therefore required – one which continues to explain the significance of truth independently of the role alethic terms play in discourse. We (...)
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  16.  22
    Gila Sher (1999). Is There a Place for Philosophy in Quine's Theory? Journal of Philosophy 96 (10):491-524.
    In the early part of the 20th century the logical positivists launched a powerful attack on traditional philosophy, rejecting the very idea of philosophy as a substantive discipline and replacing it with a practical, conventionalist, meta-theoretical view of philosophy. The positivist critique was based on a series of dichotomies: the analytic vs. the synthetic, the external vs. the internal, the apriori vs. the empirical, the meta-theoretical vs. the object- theoretical, the conventional vs. the factual. Quine's attack on the positivists' dichotomies (...)
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  17.  10
    Gila Sher (2015). Wallace, Free Choice, and Fatalism. In S. M. Cahn & M. Eckert (eds.), Freedom and the Self: Essays on the Philosophy of David Foster Wallace. Columbia University Press. pp. 31-56.
    In this paper I reconstruct David Foster Wallace’s argument against fatalism in his undergraduate honors thesis, “Richard Taylor’s ‘Fatalism’ and the Semantics of Physical Modality”. My goal is to present the argument in a clear and concise way, so that it is easy to see its main line of reasoning and potential power. A secondary goal is to offer clarificatory and critical notes on some of the issues at stake. The reconstruction reveals interesting connections between Wallace’s argument and John MacFarlane’s (...)
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  18.  38
    Gila Sher (1997). Partially-Ordered (Branching) Generalized Quantifiers: A General Definition. Journal of Philosophical Logic 26 (1):1-43.
    Following Henkin's discovery of partially-ordered (branching) quantification (POQ) with standard quantifiers in 1959, philosophers of language have attempted to extend his definition to POQ with generalized quantifiers. In this paper I propose a general definition of POQ with 1-place generalized quantifiers of the simplest kind: namely, predicative, or "cardinality" quantifiers, e.g., "most", "few", "finitely many", "exactly α", where α is any cardinal, etc. The definition is obtained in a series of generalizations, extending the original, Henkin definition first to a general (...)
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  19. Gila Sher (2010). Review of Stanley Peters and Dag Westerståhl: Quantifiers in Language and Logic. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 107 (2):103-112.
     
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  20.  46
    Gila Sher & Richard L. Tieszen (eds.) (2000). Between Logic and Intuition: Essays in Honor of Charles Parsons. Cambridge University Press.
    This collection of new essays offers a 'state-of-the-art' conspectus of major trends in the philosophy of logic and philosophy of mathematics. A distinguished group of philosophers addresses issues at the centre of contemporary debate: semantic and set-theoretic paradoxes, the set/class distinction, foundations of set theory, mathematical intuition and many others. The volume includes Hilary Putnam's 1995 Alfred Tarski lectures, published here for the first time.
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  21.  85
    Gila Sher (2001). The Formal-Structural View of Logical Consequence. Philosophical Review 110 (2):241-261.
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  22.  5
    Gila Sher (2002). Logical Consequence: An Epistemic Outlook. The Monist 85:555-579.
    In this paper I present an outline of a model of knowledge that complements, and is complemented by, my the conception of logic delineated in The Bounds of Logic. The Bounds of Logic had as its goal a critical, systematic and constructive understanding of logic. As such it aimed at maximum neutrality vis-a-vis epistemic, metaphysical and meta-mathematical controversies. But a conception of logic does not exist in a vacuum. Eventually our goal is to produce an account of logic that answers (...)
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  23. Gila Sher (1989). Generalized Logic: A Philosophical Perspective with Linguistic Applications. Dissertation, Columbia University
    The question motivating my investigation is: Are the basic philosophical principles underlying the "core" system of contemporary logic exhausted by the standard version? In particular, is the accepted narrow construal of the notion "logical term" justified? ;As a point of comparison I refer to systems of 1st-order logic with generalized quantifiers developed by mathematicians and linguists . Based on an analysis of the Tarskian conception of the role of logic I show that the standard division of terms into logical and (...)
     
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  24.  42
    Gila Sher (2013). The Foundational Problem of Logic. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 19 (2):145-198.
    The construction of a systematic philosophical foundation for logic is a notoriously difficult problem. In Part One I suggest that the problem is in large part methodological, having to do with the common philosophical conception of “providing a foundation”. I offer an alternative to the common methodology which combines a strong foundational requirement with the use of non-traditional, holistic tools to achieve this result. In Part Two I delineate an outline of a foundation for logic, employing the new methodology. The (...)
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  25.  41
    Gila Sher (1989). A Conception of Tarskian Logic. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 70 (4):341-368.
    In this paper I develop a new conception of Tarskian logic based on Tarski’s intuitive characterization of logical consequence as formal and necessary in his 1936 paper. Special emphasis is placed on the role of logic in our system of knowledge, the origins of semantics, the semantic definition of logical consequence, and the role of logical and non-logical terms in a logical system. The paper offers a new definition of logical terms based on the question: what division of terms into (...)
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  26.  3
    Gila Sher (2012). Truth and Knowledge in Logic and Mathematics. The Logica Yearbook 2011:289-304.
    Logic and mathematics are abstract disciplines par excellence. What is the nature of truth and knowledge in these disciplines? In this paper I investigate the possibility of a new approach to this question. The underlying idea is that knowledge qua knowledge, including logical and mathematical knowledge, has a dual grounding in mind and reality, and the standard of truth applicable to all knowledge is a correspondence standard. This applies to logic and mathematics as much as to other disciplines; i.e., logical (...)
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  27.  66
    Gila Sher (2001). Truth, Logical Structure, and Compositionality. Synthese 126 (1-2):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.
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  28.  8
    Gila Sher (2015). In Memoriam: Jaakko Hintikka. Synthese 192 (8):2337-2338.
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  29.  26
    Gila Sher (2015). Truth as Composite Correspondence. In Unifying the Philosophy of Truth. Springer Verlag. pp. 191-210.
    The problem that motivates me arises from a constellation of factors pulling in different, sometimes opposing directions. Simplifying, they are: (1) The complexity of the world; (2) Humans’ ambitious project of theoretical knowledge of the world; (3) The severe limitations of humans’ cognitive capacities; (4) The considerable intricacy of humans’ cognitive capacities . Given these circumstances, the question arises whether a serious notion of truth is applicable to human theories of the world. In particular, I am interested in the questions: (...)
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  30.  33
    Gila Sher (2001). Book Review: New Essays on the Philosophy of Michael Dummett. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1):185-189.
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  31.  9
    Gila Sher (1997). Book Review: Protocols, Truth and Convention. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Philosophy 35 (1):153-155.
    The continuing philosophical interest in the famous 'Protocol Sentence Debate' in the Vienna Circle of Logical Positivists is, to a large measure, due to the focus on the epistemological issues in the dispute, and the neglect of differences among the leading players in their philosophical views of logic and language. In Protocols, Truth and Convention , the current understanding of the debate is advanced by developing the contemporaneous views of logic and language held by the principal disputants. Rudolf Carnap and (...)
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  32.  3
    Gila Sher (2004). Truth, Logical Structure, and Compositionality. Synthese 126 (1):195-219.
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  33.  14
    Gila Sher (2010). Book Review: Quantifiers in Language and Logic. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 107 (2):103-112.
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  34.  1
    Gila Sher (2012). Logical Quantifiers. In D. Graff Fara & G. Russell (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language. Routledge. pp. 579-595.
    This chapter offers a logical, linguistic, and philosophical account of modern quantification theory. Contrasting the standard approach to quantifiers (according to which logical quantifiers are defined by enumeration) with the generalized approach (according to which quantifiers are defined systematically), the chapter begins with a brief history of standard quantifier theory and identifies some of its logical, linguistic, and philosophical strengths and weaknesses. It then proceeds to a brief history of generalized quantifier theory and explains how it overcomes the weaknesses of (...)
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  35.  21
    Gila Sher (2007). Review of Robert Hanna, Rationality and Logic. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (4):1-6.
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  36.  10
    Gila Sher (2009). Book Review: Jody Azzouni. Tracking Reason: Proof, Consequence, and Truth. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 50 (1):97-117.
  37. Gila Sher (1994). Book Review: Foundations Without Foundationalism: A Case for Second-Order Logic. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 103:150-153.
  38. Gila Sher (1996). Book Review: What is a Logical System? [REVIEW] Journal of Symbolic Logic 61:1396-1400.
     
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  39. Gila Sher (2016). Epistemic Friction: An Essay on Knowledge, Truth, and Logic. Oxford University Press UK.
    Gila Sher approaches knowledge from the perspective of the basic human epistemic situation—the situation of limited yet resourceful beings, living in a complex world and aspiring to know it in its full complexity. What principles should guide them? Two fundamental principles of knowledge are epistemic friction and freedom. Knowledge must be substantially constrained by the world (friction), but without active participation of the knower in accessing the world (freedom) theoretical knowledge is impossible. This requires a grounding of all knowledge, empirical (...)
     
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  40. Gila Sher & Stewart Shapiro (1994). Foundations Without Foundationalism: A Case for Second-Order Logic. Philosophical Review 103 (1):150.
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  41. Gila Sher (2013). Introduction and Commentary on Jennifer Hornsby's "Truth: The Identity Theory". Aristotelian Society 1:204-213.
     
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  42. Gila Sher (1999). Is There a Place for Philosophy in Quine's Theory? Journal of Philosophy 96 (10):491.
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  43. Gila Sher (1996). Logical Terms. In D. M. Borchert (ed.), Supplement to the Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan. pp. 317-319.
     
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  44. Gila Sher (1996). Semantics and Logic. In S. Lappin (ed.), The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory. Blackwell. pp. 509-535.
     
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  45. Gila Sher (1999). The Logical Roots of Indeterminacy. In G. Sher & R. Tieszen (eds.), Between Logic and Intuition: Essays in Honor of Charles Parsons. pp. 491-524.
     
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  46. Gila Sher (2002). Truth, the Liar, and Tarski's Semantics. In D. Jacquette (ed.), A Companion to Philosophical Logic. Blackwell. pp. 145-163.
     
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