Norris presents a series of closely linked chapters on recent developments in epistemology, philosophy of language, cognitive science, literary theory, musicology and other related fields. While to this extent adopting an interdisciplinary approach, Norris also very forcefully challenges the view that the academic "disciplines" as we know them are so many artificial constructs of recent date and with no further role than to prop up existing divisions of intellectual labour. He makes his case through some exceptionally acute revisionist readings (...) of diverse thinkers such as Derrida, Paul de Man, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Michael Dummett and John McDowell. In each instance Norris stresses the value of bringing various trans-disciplinary perspectives to bear while none-the-less maintaining adequate standards of area-specific relevance and method. Most importantly he asserts the central role of recent developments in cognitive science as pointing a way beyond certain otherwise intractable problems in philosophy of mind and language. (shrink)
In this exciting new collection, a distinguished international group of philosophers contribute new essays on central issues in philosophy of language and logic, in honor of Michael Dummett, one of the most influential philosophers of the late twentieth century. The essays are focused on areas particularly associated with Professor Dummett. Five are contributions to the philosophy of language, addressing in particular the nature of truth and meaning and the relation between language and thought. Two contributors discuss (...) time, in particular the reality of the past. The last four essays focus on Frege and the philosophy of mathematics. The volume represents some of the best work in contemporary analytical philosophy. (shrink)
This light piece reflects on analogies between two often disjoint streams of research: the logical semantics and pragmatics of natural language and dynamic logics of general information-driven agency. The two areas show significant overlap in themes and tools, and yet, the focus seems subtly different in each, defying a simple comparison. We discuss some unusual questions that emerge when the two are put side by side, without any pretense at covering the whole literature or at reaching definitive conclusions.
This is the second edition of an important introduction to Leibniz's philosophy of logic and language first published in 1972. It takes issue with several traditional interpretations of Leibniz (by Russell amongst others) while revealing how Leibniz's thought is related to issues of great interest in current logical theory. For this new edition, the author has added new chapters on infinitesimals and conditionals as well as taking account of reviews of the first edition.
Discussion of Wittgenstein's Tractatus is currently dominated by two opposing interpretations of the work: a metaphysical or realist reading and the 'resolute' reading of Diamond and Conant. Marie McGinn's principal aim in this book is to develop an alternative interpretative line, which rejects the idea, central to the metaphysical reading, that Wittgenstein sets out to ground the logic of our language in features of an independently constituted reality, but which allows that he aims to provide positive philosophical insights (...) into how language functions. McGinn takes as a guiding principle the idea that we should see Wittgenstein's early work as an attempt to eschew philosophical theory and to allow language itself to reveal how it functions. By this account, the aim of the work is to elucidate what language itself makes clear, namely, what is essential to its capacity to express thoughts that are true or false. However, the early Wittgenstein undertakes this descriptive project in the grip of a set of preconceptions concerning the essence of language that determine both how he conceives the problem and the approach he takes to the task of clarification. Nevertheless, the Tractatus contains philosophical insights, achieved despite his early preconceptions, that form the foundation of his later philosophy. -/- The anti-metaphysical interpretation that is presented includes a novel reading of the problematic opening sections of the Tractatus, in which the apparently metaphysical status of Wittgenstein's remarks is shown to be an illusion. The book includes a discussion of the philosophical background to the Tractatus, a comprehensive interpretation of Wittgenstein's early views of logic and language, and an interpretation of the remarks on solipsism. The final chapter is a discussion of the relation between the early and the later philosophy that articulates the fundamental shift in Wittgenstein's approach to the task of understanding how language functions and reveal the still more fundamental continuity in his conception of his philosophical task. (shrink)
Frege's invention of the predicate calculus has been the most influential event in the history of modern logic. The calculus' place in logic is so central that many philosophers think, in fact, of it when they think of logic. This book challenges the position in contemporary logic and philosophy of language of the predicate calculus claiming that it is based on mistaken assumptions. Ben-Yami shows that the predicate calculus is different from natural language in (...) its fundamental semantic characteristics, primarily in its treatment of reference and quantification, and that as a result the calculus is inadequate for the analysis of the semantics and logic of natural language. Ben-Yami develops both an alternative analysis of the semantics of natural language and an alternative deductive system comparable in its deductive power to first order predicate calculus but more adequate than it for the representation of the logic of natural language. Ben-Yami's book is a challenge to classical first order predicate calculus, casting doubt on many of the central claims of modern logic. (shrink)
The mnemonic arts and the idea of a universal language that would capture the essence of all things were originally associated with cryptology, mysticism, and other occult practices. And it is commonly held that these enigmatic efforts were abandoned with the development of formal logic in the seventeenth century and the beginning of the modern era. In his distinguished book, Logic and the Art of Memory Italian philosopher and historian Paolo Rossi argues that this view is belied (...) by an examination of the history of the idea of a universal language. Based on comprehensive analyses of original texts, Rossi traces the development of this idea from late medieval thinkers such as Ramon Lull through Bruno, Bacon, Descartes, and finally Leibniz in the seventeenth century. The search for a symbolic mode of communication that would be intelligible to everyone was not a mere vestige of magical thinking and occult sciences, but a fundamental component of Renaissance and Enlightenment thought. Seen from this perspective, modern science and combinatorial logic represent not a break from the past but rather its full maturity. Available for the first time in English, this book (originally titled Clavis Universalis ) remains one of the most important contributions to the history of ideas ever written. In addition to his eagerly anticipated translation, Steven Clucas offers a substantial introduction that places this book in the context of other recent works on this fascinating subject. A rich history and valuable sourcebook, Logic and the Art of Memory documents an essential chapter in the development of human reason. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s language games can be put into a wider service by virtue of elements they share with some contemporary opinions concerning logic and the semantics of computation. I will give two examples: manifestations of language games and their possible variations in logical studies, and their role in some of the recent developments in computer science. It turns out that the current paradigm of computation that Girard termed Ludics bears a striking resemblance to members of language games. (...) Moreover, the kind of interrelations that are emerging could be scrutinised from the viewpoint of logic that virtually necessitates game-theoretic conceptualisations, demonstrating the fact that the meaning of utterances may, in many situations, be understood as Wittgenstein’s language games of ‘showing or telling what one sees’. This provides motivation for the use of games in relation to logic and formal semantics that some commentators have called for. Many of the ideas can be traced to C.S. Peirce, for whom signs were vehicles of strategic communication. The conclusion about Wittgenstein is that the notions of saying and showing converge in his late philosophy. (shrink)
The cogito ergo sum of Descartes is one of the best-known--and simplest--of all philosophical formulations, but ever since it was first propounded it has defied any formal accounting of its validity. How is it that so simple and important an argument has caused such difficulty and such philosophical controversy? In this pioneering work, Jerrold Katz argues that the problem with the cogito lies where it is least suspected--in a deficiency in the theory of language and logic that Cartesian (...) scholars have brought to the study of the cogito. Katz contends that the laws of traditional logic have distorted Descartes's reasoning so that it no longer fits either Descartes's own account of the cogito in his writings or the role he assigns it in his project. Katz proposes that the cogito can be understood as an example of "analytic entailment," a concept in the philosophy of language whereby a statement can be a formally valid inference without depending on a law of logic. Developing and defending his thesis, he shows us that by grappling with an historical philosophical problem it is possible to make an original contribution to the advance of contemporary philosopy. (shrink)
Quantifiers in Language and Logic (QLL) is a major contribution to natural language semantics, specifically to quantification. It integrates the extensive recent work on quantifiers in logic and linguistics. It also presents new observations and results. QLL should help linguists understand the mathematical generalizations we can make about natural language quantification, and it should interest logicians by presenting an extensive array of quantifiers that lie beyond the pale of classical logic. Here we focus on (...) those aspects of QLL we judge to be of specific interest to linguists, and we contribute a few musings of our own, as one mark of a worthy publication is whether it stimulates the reader to seek out new observations, and QLL does. QLL is long and fairly dense, so we make no attempt to cover all the points it makes. But QLL has a topic index, a special symbols index and two tables of contents, a detailed one and an overview one, all of which help make it user friendly. QLL is presented in four parts: I, The Logical Conception of Quantifiers and Quantification with an introductory section Quantification . II, Quantifiers of Natural Language , the most extensive section in the book and of the most direct interest to linguists. III, Beginnings of a Theory of Expressiveness, Translation, and Formalization introduces notions of expressive power and definability, and IV, presents recent work and techniques concerning quantifier definability over finite domains, making accessible to linguists recent work in finite model theory. (shrink)
In Pure Inductive Logic, the rational principle of Predicate Exchangeability states that permuting the predicates in a given language L and replacing each occurrence of a predicate in an L-sentence phi according to this permutation should not change our belief in the truth of phi. In this paper we study when a prior probability function w on a purely unary language L satisfying Predicate Exchangeability also satisfies the principle of Unary Language Invariance.
This is the first of a three-volume anthology intended as a companion to The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy. Volume 1 is concerned with the logic and the philosophy of language, and comprises fifteen important texts on questions of meaning and inference that formed the basis of Medieval philosophy. As far as is practicable, complete works or topically complete segments of larger works have been selected. The editors have provided a full introduction to the volume and detailed (...) introductory headnotes to each text; the volume is also indexed comprehensively. (shrink)
Meaning and Argument shifts introductory logic from the traditional emphasis on proofs to the symbolization of arguments. Another distinctive feature of this book is that it shows how the need for expressive power and for drawing distinctions forces formal language development. This revised edition includes expanded sections, additional exercises, and an updated bibliography. Updated and revised edition includes extended sections, additional exercises, and an updated bibliography. Distinctive approach in that this text is a philosophical, rather than mathematical introduction (...) to logic. Concentrates on symbolization and does all the technical logic simply with truth tables and no derivations at all. Contains numerous exercises and a corresponding answer key. Extensive appendix which allows the reader to explore subjects that go beyond what is usually covered in an introductory logic course. Features accompanying website at www.meaningargument.com. (shrink)
Preface -- Part I: Philosophical logic and philosophy of language -- Rules versus theorems : a new approach for mediation -- Between intuitionistic and two-valued logic -- On the relation between the partition of a whole into parts and the attribution of properties to an object -- Basic objectives of dialogic logic in historical perspective -- Pragmatic and semiotic prerequisites for predication : a dialogue model -- Pragmatics and semiotics : the peircean version of ontology and (...) epistemology -- Intentionality and its language-dependency -- Meaning postulates and rules of argumentation : remarks concerning the pragmatic tie between meaning (of terms) and truth (of propositions) -- What do language games measure? -- Features of Indian logic -- Part II: Methods in philosophy, in art, and in science -- The concept of science : some remarks on the methodological issue construction versus description in the philosophy of science -- Is and ought revisited -- Competition and cooperation : are they antagonistic or complementary? -- Another version of methodological dualism -- The pre-established harmony between the two Adams -- On the way to conceptual and perceptual knowledge -- Self and other : remarks on human nature and human culture -- On the concept of symmetry -- Procedural principles of the Eerlangen School : on the interrelation between the principles of method, of dialogue, and of reason. (shrink)
This historical study investigates Ludwig Wittgenstein's early philosophy of logic and language, as it is presented in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus . The study makes a case for the Tractatus as an insightful critique of the philosophies of Bertrand Russell and Gottlob Frege-the Founding Fathers of analytic philosophy.
The Argument of the "Tractatus" presents a single unified interpretation of the Tractatus based on Wittgenstein's own view that the philosophy of logic is the real foundation of his philosophical system.
The interpretation of discourse covers a continuum with two extremes: on the one hand, a text considered as an ideal, distant object, and on the other hand, a conversation regarded as a real, present event. On the basis of a distinction between relatively context-invariant propositions and relatively context-dependent statements, it is argued that statements in conversational discourse are easier to interpret than statements in texts, whereas only propositions in symbolic logic can be interpreted with exactitude. In the same way, (...) the interpretation of dialogical arguments proceeds more easily than the interpretation of arguments in texts. While dialogical argumentation requires a dialectical approach, textual argumentation necessitates an imaginative reconstruction of the argument. From this it can be concluded that for different sorts of argumentative discourse diverse sorts of interpretative activities have to be used. (shrink)
Quantification is a topic which brings together linguistics, logic, and philosophy. Quantifiers are the essential tools with which, in language or logic, we refer to quantity of things or amount of stuff. In English they include such expressions as no, some, all, both, many. Peters and Westerstahl present the definitive interdisciplinary exploration of how they work - their syntax, semantics, and inferential role.