Metaphysics and language: Quine, W. V. O. On the individuation of attributes. Körner, S. On some relations between logic and metaphysics. Marcus, R. B. Does the principle of substitutivity rest on a mistake? Van Fraassen, B. C. Platonism's pyrrhic victory. Martin, R. M. On some prepositional relations. Kearns, J. T. Sentences and propositions.--Basic and combinatorial logic: Orgass, R. J. Extended basic logic and ordinal numbers. Curry, H. B. Representation of Markov algorithms by combinators.--Implication and consistency: Anderson, A. R. Fitch on (...) consistency. Belnap, N. D., Jr. Grammatical propaedeutic. Thomason, R. H. Decidability in the logic of conditionals. Myhill, J. Levels of implication.--Deontic, epistemic, and erotetic logic: Bacon, J. Belief as relative knowledge. Wu, K. J. Believing and disbelieving. Kordig, C. R. Relativized deontic modalities. Harrah, D. A system for erotetic sentences. (shrink)
The ontological argument of Saint Anselm, one of the most famous in the entire history of philosophy, has fascinated men’s minds for centuries. And yet, as Hartshorne makes abundantly clear, much of its subtlety has been missed by some of the keenest commentators. Although it has been discussed again and again, little work seems to have been done, even up to the moment, in exploring the logical forms or deep structures needed for an exact statement. Part of this is due (...) no doubt to the subtlety of the argument itself, but part of it is due to that fact that the key ideas involved are not of the kind that easily lend themselves to being handled within the standard kinds of logic. (shrink)
Current UK legislation is impacting upon the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of medical record-based research aimed at benefiting the NHS and the public heath. Whereas previous commentators have focused on the Data Protection Act 1998, the Health and Social Care Act 2001 is the key legislation for public health researchers wishing to access medical records without written consent. The Act requires researchers to apply to the Patient Information Advisory Group for permission to access medical records without written permission. We present a (...) case study of the work required to obtain the necessary permissions from PIAG in order to conduct a large scale public health research project. In our experience it took eight months to receive permission to access basic identifying information on individuals registered at general practices, and a decision on whether we could access clinical information in medical records without consent took 18 months. Such delays pose near insurmountable difficulties to grant funded research, and in our case £560 000 of public and charitable money was spent on research staff while a large part of their work was prohibited until the third year of a three year grant. We conclude by arguing that many of the current problems could be avoided by returning PIAG’s responsibilities to research ethics committees, and by allowing “opt-out” consent for many public health research projects. (shrink)
The author considers the discussion of designation and truth by black and geach. Geach had pointed out a flaw in black's position and attempted to correct it. The author concludes that geach has not even "described the concepts in terms of which" he is to correct black. (staff).
Tarski’s relation of satisfaction has been mentioned or discussed a good deal recently, but not often, it seems, with full understanding. Many misconceptions concerning it abound throughout the literature. The relation, it will be recalled, is one holding between an infinite sequence of objects and a sentential function containing an arbitrary number of free variables. A sentence is then any sentential function containing no free variables, and a true sentence is, by definition, one satisfied by all infinite sequences, a false (...) sentence being satisfied by none. (shrink)
The method of Ramsey sentences has been proposed for handling theoretical constructs within a scientific system. Essentially it consists of constructing a certain "monolithic" sentence for an entire theory. In this present paper several improvements are suggested which help to overcome some of the awkward features of the method. In particular we have here many Ramsey sentences rather than just one, each erstwhile primitive theoretical term giving rise to a Ramsey sentence. Such a sentence in effect defines what we call (...) a Ramsey constant. Using Ramsey constants, we attempt to improve the method in important logical and semantical respects. It is suggested also that such constants are of interest for the philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
PLATONISM or platonic realism in logic and mathematics is probably the most widespread contemporary view in the philosophy of mathematics. It has become popularly identified with the acceptance of an ontology of sets and/or classes as fundamental among the building materials of the cosmos and of all that is therein. Usually, also, these entities are regarded as "abstract" rather than "concrete," but no one has given us a sufficiently detailed and acceptable theory as to how this dichotomy is to be (...) drawn. Sets and classes are taken somehow as the paradigm of abstract entities, as over and against something called 'individuals', which are then the paradigm of concrete entities. This is all very unsatisfactory and in need of much analysis and clarification. (shrink)
Woodger first gives a rough account of the "Boole-Frege" movement in modern logic and persuasively argues as to the importance of formalized language-systems for the methodology of science. Some of these arguments are as follows: A natural language such as English, he notes, "is not only used for purposes of communication in the scientific sense. It is also used for the writing of poetry, for religious devotion, for political controversy, and for persuading people to buy some of the products of (...) industrial activity which they would not otherwise want. But these pursuits make demands upon language which are very different from those made by science. The requirements of science prove on investigation to be quite surprisingly meagre and the excessive riches of a natural language like English are a source of embarrassment. They tempt us to employ linguistic devices borrowed from extra-scientific usages which can have unfortunate consequences. Metaphors, for example, with which some branches of biology abound, are often suggestive and may be harmless enough if they are recognized for what they are. But at best they are makeshifts and substitutes for genuine biological statements, and the fact that recourse is had to them is surely a sign of immaturity. Science demands great linguistic austerity and discipline, and the canons of good style in scientific writing are different from those of good writing in other kinds of literature." Another argument is that "sooner or later the linguistic habits of everyday life will cease to do justice to... the... increasing complexity and novelty of observation and hypothesis." A third argument is that scientific language is used not only for the purpose of communication, for recording observations, or for formulating general laws or hypotheses. It is also used for calculation and the unearthing of the consequences of our assumptions. The logic underlying a formalized language is explicitly designed to enable us to calculate easily and efficiently. The important, and now thoroughly established, methodological distinction between object-language and meta-language is blurred for natural language and is best maintained in terms of formalized language-systems. And, finally, in natural language the important distinction between syntax and semantics also tends to be blurred. "From both the syntactical and the semantical points of view natural languages are incredibly complicated and unruly. The rules of ordinary gram mar are quite insufficient from the standpoint of the requirements of science, and the problems connected with meaning and truth in relation to natural languages are enormously complicated and perhaps insoluble.". (shrink)