Introduction to Adolf Reinach, ‘On the Theory of the Negative Judgment’

In Parts and Moments: Studies in Logic and Formal Ontology. Munich: Philosophia Verlag. pp. 289-313 (1982)
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Reinach’s essay of 1911 establishes an ontological theory of logic, based on the notion of Sachverhalt or state of affairs. He draws on the theory of meaning and reference advanced in Husserl’s Logical Investigations and at the same time anticipates both Wittgenstein’s Tractatus and later speech act theorists’ ideas on performative utterances. The theory is used by Reinach to draw a distinction between two kinds of negative judgment: the simple negative judgment, which is made true by a negative state of affairs; and the polemical negative judgment, which is a performative utterance in which the truth of some earlier judgment – typically a judgment made by some other person – is denied.
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