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John Corcoran
State University of New York, Buffalo
  1. What Are Logical Notions?John Corcoran & Alfred Tarski - 1986 - History and Philosophy of Logic 7 (2):143-154.
    In this manuscript, published here for the first time, Tarski explores the concept of logical notion. He draws on Klein's Erlanger Programm to locate the logical notions of ordinary geometry as those invariant under all transformations of space. Generalizing, he explicates the concept of logical notion of an arbitrary discipline.
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  2. Completeness of an Ancient Logic.John Corcoran - 1972 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 37 (4):696-702.
    In previous articles, it has been shown that the deductive system developed by Aristotle in his "second logic" is a natural deduction system and not an axiomatic system as previously had been thought. It was also stated that Aristotle's logic is self-sufficient in two senses: First, that it presupposed no other logical concepts, not even those of propositional logic; second, that it is (strongly) complete in the sense that every valid argument expressible in the language of the system is deducible (...)
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  3. Aristotle's Natural Deduction System.John Corcoran - 1974 - In Ancient Logic and its Modern Interpretations. Boston: Reidel. pp. 85--131.
    This presentation of Aristotle's natural deduction system supplements earlier presentations and gives more historical evidence. Some fine-tunings resulted from conversations with Timothy Smiley, Charles Kahn, Josiah Gould, John Kearns,John Glanvillle, and William Parry.The criticism of Aristotle's theory of propositions found at the end of this 1974 presentation was retracted in Corcoran's 2009 HPL article "Aristotle's demonstrative logic".
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  4. String Theory.John Corcoran, William Frank & Michael Maloney - 1974 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 39 (4):625-637.
    For each positive n , two alternative axiomatizations of the theory of strings over n alphabetic characters are presented. One class of axiomatizations derives from Tarski's system of the Wahrheitsbegriff and uses the n characters and concatenation as primitives. The other class involves using n character-prefixing operators as primitives and derives from Hermes' Semiotik. All underlying logics are second order. It is shown that, for each n, the two theories are definitionally equivalent [or synonymous in the sense of deBouvere]. It (...)
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  5. Argumentations and Logic.John Corcoran - 1989 - ARGUMENTAION 3 (1):17-43.
    Argumentations are at the heart of the deductive and the hypothetico-deductive methods, which are involved in attempts to reduce currently open problems to problems already solved. These two methods span the entire spectrum of problem-oriented reasoning from the simplest and most practical to the most complex and most theoretical, thereby uniting all objective thought whether ancient or contemporary, whether humanistic or scientific, whether normative or descriptive, whether concrete or abstract. Analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and function of argumentations are described. Perennial philosophic (...)
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  6.  57
    Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics: Papers From 1923 to 1938.Alfred Tarski & John Corcoran (eds.) - 1956 - Hackett.
    Published with the aid of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Contains the only complete English-language text of The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages. Tarski made extensive corrections and revisions of the original translations for this edition, along with new historical remarks. It includes a new preface and a new analytical index for use by philosophers and linguists as well as by historians of mathematics and philosophy.
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  7. Categoricity.John Corcoran - 1980 - History and Philosophy of Logic 1 (1):187-207.
    After a short preface, the first of the three sections of this paper is devoted to historical and philosophic aspects of categoricity. The second section is a self-contained exposition, including detailed definitions, of a proof that every mathematical system whose domain is the closure of its set of distinguished individuals under its distinguished functions is categorically characterized by its induction principle together with its true atoms (atomic sentences and negations of atomic sentences). The third section deals with applications especially those (...)
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  8. Aristotle's Prior Analytics and Boole's Laws of Thought.John Corcoran - 2003 - History and Philosophy of Logic. 24 (4):261-288.
    Prior Analytics by the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 – 322 BCE) and Laws of Thought by the English mathematician George Boole (1815 – 1864) are the two most important surviving original logical works from before the advent of modern logic. This article has a single goal: to compare Aristotle’s system with the system that Boole constructed over twenty-two centuries later intending to extend and perfect what Aristotle had started. This comparison merits an article itself. Accordingly, this article does not discuss (...)
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  9.  14
    Introduction to Mathematical Logic.John Corcoran - 1964 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 54 (2):618-619.
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  10. Aristotle's Demonstrative Logic.John Corcoran - 2009 - History and Philosophy of Logic 30 (1):1-20.
    Demonstrative logic, the study of demonstration as opposed to persuasion, is the subject of Aristotle's two-volume Analytics. Many examples are geometrical. Demonstration produces knowledge (of the truth of propositions). Persuasion merely produces opinion. Aristotle presented a general truth-and-consequence conception of demonstration meant to apply to all demonstrations. According to him, a demonstration, which normally proves a conclusion not previously known to be true, is an extended argumentation beginning with premises known to be truths and containing a chain of reasoning showing (...)
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  11. Ancient Logic and its Modern Interpretations.John Corcoran (ed.) - 1974 - Boston: Reidel.
    This book treats ancient logic: the logic that originated in Greece by Aristotle and the Stoics, mainly in the hundred year period beginning about 350 BCE. Ancient logic was never completely ignored by modern logic from its Boolean origin in the middle 1800s: it was prominent in Boole’s writings and it was mentioned by Frege and by Hilbert. Nevertheless, the first century of mathematical logic did not take it seriously enough to study the ancient logic texts. A renaissance in ancient (...)
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  12. Schemata: The Concept of Schema in the History of Logic.John Corcoran - 2006 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 12 (2):219-240.
    The syllogistic figures and moods can be taken to be argument schemata as can the rules of the Stoic propositional logic. Sentence schemata have been used in axiomatizations of logic only since the landmark 1927 von Neumann paper [31]. Modern philosophers know the role of schemata in explications of the semantic conception of truth through Tarski’s 1933 Convention T [42]. Mathematical logicians recognize the role of schemata in first-order number theory where Peano’s second-order Induction Axiom is approximated by Herbrand’s Induction-Axiom (...)
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  13. A Mathematical Model of Aristotle’s Syllogistic.John Corcoran - 1973 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 55 (2):191-219.
    In the present article we attempt to show that Aristotle's syllogistic is an underlying logiC which includes a natural deductive system and that it isn't an axiomatic theory as had previously been thought. We construct a mathematical model which reflects certain structural aspects of Aristotle's logic. We examine the relation of the model to the system of logic envisaged in scattered parts of Prior and Posterior Analytics. Our interpretation restores Aristotle's reputation as a logician of consummate imagination and skill. Several (...)
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  14. The Founding of Logic.John Corcoran - 1994 - Ancient Philosophy 14 (S1):9-24.
    Since the time of Aristotle's students, interpreters have considered Prior Analytics to be a treatise about deductive reasoning, more generally, about methods of determining the validity and invalidity of premise-conclusion arguments. People studied Prior Analytics in order to learn more about deductive reasoning and to improve their own reasoning skills. These interpreters understood Aristotle to be focusing on two epistemic processes: first, the process of establishing knowledge that a conclusion follows necessarily from a set of premises (that is, on the (...)
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  15.  14
    Philosophy of Logic.John Corcoran - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 40 (1):131-133.
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  16. Meanings of Implication.John Corcoran - 1973 - Diálogos. Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Puerto Rico 9 (24):59-76.
    Thirteen meanings of 'implication' are described and compared. Among them are relations that have been called: logical implication, material implication,deductive implication, formal implication, enthymemic implication, and factual implication. In a given context, implication is the homogeneous two-place relation expressed by the relation verb 'implies'. For heuristic and expository reasons this article skirts many crucial issues including use-mention, the nature of the entities that imply and are implied, and the processes by which knowledge of these relations are achieved. This paper is (...)
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  17. Conceptual Structure of Classical Logic.John Corcoran - 1972 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 33 (1):25-47.
    One innovation in this paper is its identification, analysis, and description of a troubling ambiguity in the word ‘argument’. In one sense ‘argument’ denotes a premise-conclusion argument: a two-part system composed of a set of sentences—the premises—and a single sentence—the conclusion. In another sense it denotes a premise-conclusion-mediation argument—later called an argumentation: a three-part system composed of a set of sentences—the premises—a single sentence—the conclusion—and complex of sentences—the mediation. The latter is often intended to show that the conclusion follows from (...)
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  18. INFORMATION-THEORETIC LOGIC.John Corcoran - 1998 - In C. Martínez U. Rivas & L. Villegas-Forero (eds.), Truth in Perspective edited by C. Martínez, U. Rivas, L. Villegas-Forero, Ashgate Publishing Limited, Aldershot, England (1998) 113-135. ASHGATE. pp. 113-135.
    Information-theoretic approaches to formal logic analyse the "common intuitive" concept of propositional implication (or argumental validity) in terms of information content of propositions and sets of propositions: one given proposition implies a second if the former contains all of the information contained by the latter; an argument is valid if the conclusion contains no information beyond that of the premise-set. This paper locates information-theoretic approaches historically, philosophically and pragmatically. Advantages and disadvantages are identified by examining such approaches in themselves and (...)
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  19.  32
    Gaps Between Logical Theory and Mathematical Practice.John Corcoran - 1973 - In Mario Augusto Bunge (ed.), The Methodological Unity of Science. Boston: Reidel. pp. 23--50.
  20.  32
    Conceptual Notation and Related Articles. [REVIEW]John Corcoran & David Levin - 1972 - Philosophy of Science 36 (1):148-149.
  21.  16
    Theory of Science.John Corcoran - 1973 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 34 (2):282-283.
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  22.  35
    Logical Investigations of Predication Theory and the Problem of Universals.John Corcoran - 1991 - Noûs 25 (2):221-230.
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  23. The Absence of Multiple Universes of Discourse in the 1936 Tarski Consequence-Definition Paper.John Corcoran & José Miguel Sagüillo - 2011 - History and Philosophy of Logic 32 (4):359 - 374.
    This paper discusses the history of the confusion and controversies over whether the definition of consequence presented in the 11-page 1936 Tarski consequence-definition paper is based on a monistic fixed-universe framework?like Begriffsschrift and Principia Mathematica. Monistic fixed-universe frameworks, common in pre-WWII logic, keep the range of the individual variables fixed as the class of all individuals. The contrary alternative is that the definition is predicated on a pluralistic multiple-universe framework?like the 1931 Gödel incompleteness paper. A pluralistic multiple-universe framework recognizes multiple (...)
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  24. Three Logical Theories.John Corcoran - 1969 - Philosophy of Science 36 (2):153-177.
    This study concerns logical systems considered as theories. By searching for the problems which the traditionally given systems may reasonably be intended to solve, we clarify the rationales for the adequacy criteria commonly applied to logical systems. From this point of view there appear to be three basic types of logical systems: those concerned with logical truth; those concerned with logical truth and with logical consequence; and those concerned with deduction per se as well as with logical truth and logical (...)
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  25. Boole's Criteria for Validity and Invalidity.John Corcoran & Susan Wood - 1980 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 21 (4):609-638.
    It is one thing for a given proposition to follow or to not follow from a given set of propositions and it is quite another thing for it to be shown either that the given proposition follows or that it does not follow.* Using a formal deduction to show that a conclusion follows and using a countermodel to show that a conclusion does not follow are both traditional practices recognized by Aristotle and used down through the history of logic. These (...)
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  26. Sentence, Proposition, Judgment, Statement, and Fact: Speaking About the Written English Used in Logic.John Corcoran - 2009 - In W. A. Carnielli (ed.), The Many Sides of Logic. College Publications. pp. 71-103.
    The five English words—sentence, proposition, judgment, statement, and fact—are central to coherent discussion in logic. However, each is ambiguous in that logicians use each with multiple normal meanings. Several of their meanings are vague in the sense of admitting borderline cases. In the course of displaying and describing the phenomena discussed using these words, this paper juxtaposes, distinguishes, and analyzes several senses of these and related words, focusing on a constellation of recommended senses. One of the purposes of this paper (...)
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  27. Existential Import Today: New Metatheorems; Historical, Philosophical, and Pedagogical Misconceptions.John Corcoran & Hassan Masoud - 2015 - History and Philosophy of Logic 36 (1):39-61.
    Contrary to common misconceptions, today's logic is not devoid of existential import: the universalized conditional ∀ x [S→ P] implies its corresponding existentialized conjunction ∃ x [S & P], not in all cases, but in some. We characterize the proexamples by proving the Existential-Import Equivalence: The antecedent S of the universalized conditional alone determines whether the universalized conditional has existential import, i.e. whether it implies its corresponding existentialized conjunction.A predicate is an open formula having only x free. An existential-import predicate (...)
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  28.  21
    Aristotle's Prior Analytics and Boole's Laws of Thought.John Corcoran - 2003 - History and Philosophy of Logic 24 (4):261-288.
    Prior Analytics by the Greek philosopher Aristotle and Laws of Thought by the English mathematician George Boole are the two most important surviving original logical works from before the advent of modern logic. This article has a single goal: to compare Aristotle's system with the system that Boole constructed over twenty-two centuries later intending to extend and perfect what Aristotle had started. This comparison merits an article itself. Accordingly, this article does not discuss many other historically and philosophically important aspects (...)
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  29.  59
    Aristotelian Syllogisms: Valid Arguments or True Universalized Conditionals?John Corcoran - 1974 - Mind 83 (330):278-281.
    Corcoran, John. 1974. Aristotelian Syllogisms: Valid arguments or true generalized conditionals?, Mind 83, 278–81. MR0532928 (58 #27178) This tightly-written and self-contained four-page paper must be studied and not just skimmed. It meticulously analyses quotations from Aristotle and Lukasiewicz to establish that Aristotle was using indirect deductions—as required by the natural-deduction interpretation—and not indirect proofs—as required by the axiomatic interpretation. Lukasiewicz was explicit and clear about the subtle fact that Aristotle’s practice could not be construed as correctly performed indirect proof. Lukasiewicz (...)
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  30. Second-Order Logic.John Corcoran - 2001 - In M. Zeleny (ed.), Logic, Meaning, and Computation: Essays in Memory of Alonzo Church. KLUKER. pp. 61–76.
    “Second-order Logic” in Anderson, C.A. and Zeleny, M., Eds. Logic, Meaning, and Computation: Essays in Memory of Alonzo Church. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2001. Pp. 61–76. -/- Abstract. This expository article focuses on the fundamental differences between second- order logic and first-order logic. It is written entirely in ordinary English without logical symbols. It employs second-order propositions and second-order reasoning in a natural way to illustrate the fact that second-order logic is actually a familiar part of our traditional intuitive logical framework and (...)
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  31. The Contemporary Relevance of Ancient Logical Theory.John Corcoran - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (126):76.
    This interesting and imaginative monograph is based on the author’s PhD dissertation supervised by Saul Kripke. It is dedicated to Timothy Smiley, whose interpretation of PRIOR ANALYTICS informs its approach. As suggested by its title, this short work demonstrates conclusively that Aristotle’s syllogistic is a suitable vehicle for fruitful discussion of contemporary issues in logical theory. Aristotle’s syllogistic is represented by Corcoran’s 1972 reconstruction. The review studies Lear’s treatment of Aristotle’s logic, his appreciation of the Corcoran-Smiley paradigm, and his understanding (...)
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  32. Variable Binding Term Operators.John Corcoran, William Hatcher & John Herring - 1972 - Zeitschrift fur mathematische Logik und Grundlagen der Mathematik 18 (12):177-182.
    Chapin reviewed this 1972 ZEITSCHRIFT paper that proves the completeness theorem for the logic of variable-binding-term operators created by Corcoran and his student John Herring in the 1971 LOGIQUE ET ANALYSE paper in which the theorem was conjectured. This leveraging proof extends completeness of ordinary first-order logic to the extension with vbtos. Newton da Costa independently proved the same theorem about the same time using a Henkin-type proof. This 1972 paper builds on the 1971 “Notes on a Semantic Analysis of (...)
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  33. An Essay on Knowledge and Belief.John Corcoran - 2006 - International Journal of Decision Ethics (2):125-144.
    This accessible essay treats knowledge and belief in a usable and applicable way. Many of its basic ideas have been developed recently in Corcoran-Hamid 2014: Investigating knowledge and opinion. The Road to Universal Logic. Vol. I. Arthur Buchsbaum and Arnold Koslow, Editors. Springer. Pp. 95-126. http://www.springer.com/birkhauser/mathematics/book/978-3-319-10192-7 .
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  34.  11
    Conceptual Notation and Related Articles.John Corcoran - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 40 (3):454-455.
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  35.  16
    The Founding of Logic: Modern Interpretations of Aristotle’s Logic.John Corcoran - 1994 - Ancient Philosophy 14 (S1):9-24.
  36. LOGIC TEACHING IN THE 21ST CENTURY.John Corcoran - 2016 - Quadripartita Ratio: Revista de Argumentación y Retórica 1 (1):1-34.
    We are much better equipped to let the facts reveal themselves to us instead of blinding ourselves to them or stubbornly trying to force them into preconceived molds. We no longer embarrass ourselves in front of our students, for example, by insisting that “Some Xs are Y” means the same as “Some X is Y”, and lamely adding “for purposes of logic” whenever there is pushback. Logic teaching in this century can exploit the new spirit of objectivity, humility, clarity, observationalism, (...)
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  37.  20
    Aristotle’s Prototype Rule-Based Underlying Logic.John Corcoran - 2018 - Logica Universalis 12 (1-2):9-35.
    This expository paper on Aristotle’s prototype underlying logic is intended for a broad audience that includes non-specialists. It requires as background a discussion of Aristotle’s demonstrative logic. Demonstrative logic or apodictics is the study of demonstration as opposed to persuasion. It is the subject of Aristotle’s two-volume Analytics, as its first sentence says. Many of Aristotle’s examples are geometrical. A typical geometrical demonstration requires a theorem that is to be demonstrated, known premises from which the theorem is to be deduced, (...)
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  38. LOGIC TEACHING IN THE 21ST CENTURY.John Corcoran - manuscript
    We are much better equipped to let the facts reveal themselves to us instead of blinding ourselves to them or stubbornly trying to force them into preconceived molds. We no longer embarrass ourselves in front of our students, for example, by insisting that “Some Xs are Y” means the same as “Some X is Y”, and lamely adding “for purposes of logic” whenever there is pushback. Logic teaching in this century can exploit the new spirit of objectivity, humility, clarity, observationalism, (...)
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  39.  7
    From Peirce to Skolem. A Neglected Chapter in the History of Logic.John Corcoran - 2008 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 14 (4):541-544.
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  40. A BIBLIOGRAPHY: JOHN CORCORAN's PUBLICATIONS ON ARISTOTLE 1972–2015.John Corcoran - manuscript
    This presentation includes a complete bibliography of John Corcoran’s publications devoted at least in part to Aristotle’s logic. Sections I–IV list 20 articles, 43 abstracts, 3 books, and 10 reviews. It starts with two watershed articles published in 1972: the Philosophy & Phenomenological Research article that antedates Corcoran’s Aristotle’s studies and the Journal of Symbolic Logic article first reporting his original results; it ends with works published in 2015. A few of the items are annotated with endnotes connecting them with (...)
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  41. The Inseparability of Logic and Ethics.John Corcoran - 1989 - Free Inquiry 9 (2):37-40.
    This essay takes logic and ethics in broad senses: logic as the science of evidence; ethics as the science justice. One of its main conclusions is that neither science can be fruitfully pursued without the virtues fostered by the other: logic is pointless without fairness and compassion; ethics is pointless without rigor and objectivity. The logician urging us to be dispassionate is in resonance and harmony with the ethicist urging us to be compassionate.
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  42.  12
    Logical Investigations of Predication Theory and the Problem of Universals.John Corcoran - 1988 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 53 (3):991-993.
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  43. Information Recovery Problems.John Corcoran - 1995 - Theoria 10 (3):55-78.
    An information recovery problem is the problem of constructing a proposition containing the information dropped in going from a given premise to a given conclusion that folIows. The proposition(s) to beconstructed can be required to satisfy other conditions as well, e.g. being independent of the conclusion, or being “informationally unconnected” with the conclusion, or some other condition dictated by the context. This paper discusses various types of such problems, it presents techniques and principles useful in solving them, and it develops (...)
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  44. Remarks on Stoic Deduction.John Corcoran - 1974 - In Ancient Logic and its Modern Interpretations. Boston: Reidel. pp. 169--181.
    This paper raises obvious questions undermining any residual confidence in Mates work and revealing our embarrassing ignorance of true nature of Stoic deduction. It was inspired by the challenging exploratory work of JOSIAH GOULD.
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  45.  10
    What Is Mathematical Logic?John Corcoran - 1976 - Philosophy of Science 43 (2):301-302.
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  46. Meanings of Word: Type-Occurrence-Token.John Corcoran - 2005 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 11 (1):117.
    Corcoran, John. 2005. Meanings of word: type-occurrence-token. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 11(2005) 117. -/- Once we are aware of the various senses of ‘word’, we realize that self-referential statements use ambiguous sentences. If a statement is made using the sentence ‘this is a pronoun’, is the speaker referring to an interpreted string, a string-type, a string-occurrence, a string-token, or what? The listeners can wonder “this what?”. -/- John Corcoran, Meanings of word: type-occurrence-token Philosophy, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260-4150 E-mail: (...)
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  47.  61
    Schema.John Corcoran - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    -/- A schema (plural: schemata, or schemas), also known as a scheme (plural: schemes), is a linguistic template or pattern together with a rule for using it to specify a potentially infinite multitude of phrases, sentences, or arguments, which are called instances of the schema. Schemas are used in logic to specify rules of inference, in mathematics to describe theories with infinitely many axioms, and in semantics to give adequacy conditions for definitions of truth. -/- 1. What is a Schema? (...)
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  48. Formalizing Euclid’s First Axiom.John Corcoran - 2014 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 20 (3):404-405.
    Formalizing Euclid’s first axiom. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic. 20 (2014) 404–5. (Coauthor: Daniel Novotný) -/- Euclid [fl. 300 BCE] divides his basic principles into what came to be called ‘postulates’ and ‘axioms’—two words that are synonyms today but which are commonly used to translate Greek words meant by Euclid as contrasting terms. -/- Euclid’s postulates are specifically geometric: they concern geometric magnitudes, shapes, figures, etc.—nothing else. The first: “to draw a line from any point to any point”; the last: the (...)
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  49. Logically Equivalent False Universal Propositions with Different Counterexample Sets.John Corcoran - 2007 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 11:554-5.
    This paper corrects a mistake I saw students make but I have yet to see in print. The mistake is thinking that logically equivalent propositions have the same counterexamples—always. Of course, it is often the case that logically equivalent propositions have the same counterexamples: “every number that is prime is odd” has the same counterexamples as “every number that is not odd is not prime”. The set of numbers satisfying “prime but not odd” is the same as the set of (...)
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  50.  19
    The Logical Form of Quantifier Phrases: Quantifier-Sortalvariable.John Corcoran - 1999 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 5:418-419.
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