The Propositional Content of Data

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Our online interaction with information-systems may well provide the largest arena of formal logical reasoning in the world today. Presented here is a critique of the foundations of Logic, in which the metaphysical assumptions of such 'closed world' reasoning are contrasted with those of traditional logic. Closed worlds mostly employ a syntactic alternative to formal language namely, recording data in files. Whilst this may be unfamiliar as logical syntax, it is argued here that propositions are expressed by data stored in files which are essentially non-linguistic and so cannot be expressed by simple formulae F(a), with the inference-rules normally used in Logic. Hence, the syntax of data may be said to define a fundamentally new kind of logical form for simple propositions. In this way, the logic of closed systems is shown to be non-classical, differing from traditional logic in its truth-conditions, inferences and metaphysics. This paper will be concerned mainly with how the reference and certain inferences in such a closed system differ metaphysically from classical logic.
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Archival date: 2016-01-28
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