Neo-Fregeans such as Bob Hale and Crispin Wright seek a foundation of mathematics based on abstraction principles. These are sentences involving a relation called the abstraction relation. It is usually assumed that abstraction relations must be equivalence relations, so reflexive, symmetric and transitive. In this article I argue that abstraction relations need not be reflexive. I furthermore give an application of non-reflexive abstraction relations to restricted abstraction principles.
Harold Hodes in  introduces an extension of first-order modal logic featuring a backtracking operator, and provides a possible worlds semantics, according to which the operator is a kind of device for ‘world travel’; he does not provide a proof theory. In this paper, I provide a natural deduction system for modal logic featuring this operator, and argue that the system can be motivated in terms of a reading of the backtracking operator whereby it serves to indicate modal scope. I (...) prove soundness and completeness theorems with respect to Hodes’ semantics, as well as semantics with fewer restrictions on the accessibility relation. (shrink)
Neo-Fregean approaches to set theory, following Frege, have it that sets are the extensions of concepts, where concepts are the values of second-order variables. The idea is that, given a second-order entity $X$, there may be an object $\varepsilon X$, which is the extension of X. Other writers have also claimed a similar relationship between second-order logic and set theory, where sets arise from pluralities. This paper considers two interpretations of second-order logic—as being either extensional or intensional—and whether either is (...) more appropriate for this approach to the foundations of set theory. Although there seems to be a case for the extensional interpretation resulting from modal considerations, I show how there is no obstacle to starting with an intensional second-order logic. I do so by showing how the $\varepsilon$ operator can have the effect of “extensionalizing” intensional second-order entities. (shrink)