This is the PhD dissertation, written under supervision of Professor Jerzy Słupecki, published in the book: U.Wybraniec-Skardowska i Grzegorz Bryll "Z badań nad teorią zdań odrzuconych" ( "Studies of theory of rejected sentences"), Zeszyty Naukowe Wyższej Szkoły Pedagogicznej w Opolu, Seria B: Studia i Monografie nr 22, pp. 5-131. It is the first, original publication on the theory of rejected sentences on which are based, among other, papers: "Theory of rejected propositions. I"and "Theory of rejected propositions II" with Jerzy Słupecki (...) and Grzegorz Bryll. -/- -/- . (shrink)
This paper discusses the history of the confusion and controversies over whether the definition of consequence presented in the 11-page 1936 Tarski consequence-definition paper is based on a monistic fixed-universe framework?like Begriffsschrift and Principia Mathematica. Monistic fixed-universe frameworks, common in pre-WWII logic, keep the range of the individual variables fixed as the class of all individuals. The contrary alternative is that the definition is predicated on a pluralistic multiple-universe framework?like the 1931 Gödel incompleteness paper. A pluralistic multiple-universe framework (...) recognizes multiple universes of discourse serving as different ranges of the individual variables in different interpretations?as in post-WWII model theory. In the early 1960s, many logicians?mistakenly, as we show?held the ?contrary alternative? that Tarski 1936 had already adopted a Gödel-type, pluralistic, multiple-universe framework. We explain that Tarski had not yet shifted out of the monistic, Frege?Russell, fixed-universe paradigm. We further argue that between his Principia-influenced pre-WWII Warsaw period and his model-theoretic post-WWII Berkeley period, Tarski's philosophy underwent many other radical changes. (shrink)
In this paper, two axiomatic theories T− and T′ are constructed, which are dual to Tarski’s theory T+ (1930) of deductive systems based on classical propositional calculus. While in Tarski’s theory T+ the primitive notion is the classical consequence function (entailment) Cn+, in the dual theory T− it is replaced by the notion of Słupecki’s rejection consequence Cn− and in the dual theory T′ it is replaced by the notion of the family Incons of inconsistent sets. The author (...) has proved that the theories T+, T−, and T′ are equivalent. (shrink)
CORCORAN REVIEWS THE 4 VOLUMES OF TARSKI’S COLLECTED PAPERS Alfred Tarski (1901--1983) is widely regarded as one of the two giants of twentieth-century logic and also as one of the four greatest logicians of all time (Aristotle, Frege and Gödel being the other three). Of the four, Tarski was the most prolific as a logician. The four volumes of his collected papers, which exclude most of his 19 monographs, span over 2500 pages. Aristotle's writings are comparable in volume, but most (...) of the Aristotelian corpus is not about logic, whereas virtually everything written by Tarski concerns logic more or less directly. There is no doubt that Tarski wrote more on logic than any other author; he started publishing on logic in 1921 at the age of 20 and continued until his death at the age of 82. (shrink)
Gómez-Torrente’s papers have made important contributions to vindicate Tarski’s model-theoretic account of the logical properties in the face of Etchemendy’s criticisms. However, at some points his vindication depends on interpreting the Tarskian account as purportedly modally deflationary, i.e., as not intended to capture the intuitive modal element in the logical properties, that logical consequence is (epistemic or alethic) necessary truth-preservation. Here it is argued that the views expressed in Tarski’s seminal work do not support this modally deflationary interpretation, even (...) if Tarski himself was sceptical about modalities. (shrink)
Alfred Tarski was a nominalist. But he published almost nothing on his nominalist views, and until recently the only sources scholars had for studying Tarski’s nominalism were conversational reports from his friends and colleagues. However, a recently-discovered archival resource provides the most detailed information yet about Tarski’s nominalism. Tarski spent the academic year 1940-41 at Harvard, along with many of the leading lights of scientific philosophy: Carnap, Quine, Hempel, Goodman, and (for the fall semester) Russell. This group met frequently to (...) discuss logical and philosophical topics of shared interest. At these meetings, Carnap took dictation notes, which are now stored in the Archives of Scientific Philosophy. Interestingly, and somewhat surprisingly, the plurality of notes covers a proposal Tarski presents for a nominalist language of unified science. This chapter addresses the following questions about this project. What, precisely, is Tarski’s nominalist position? What rationales are given for Tarski’s nominalist stance—and are these rationales defensible? Finally, how is Tarskian nominalism of 1941 related to current nominalist projects? (shrink)
Many commentators on Alfred Tarski have, following Hartry Field, claimed that Tarski's truth-definition was motivated by physicalism—the doctrine that all facts, including semantic facts, must be reducible to physical facts. I claim, instead, that Tarski did not aim to reduce semantic facts to physical ones. Thus, Field's criticism that Tarski's truth-definition fails to fulfill physicalist ambitions does not reveal Tarski to be inconsistent, since Tarski's goal is not to vindicate physicalism. I argue that Tarski's only published (...) remarks that speak approvingly of physicalism were written in unusual circumstances: Tarski was likely attempting to appease an audience of physicalists that he viewed as hostile to his ideas. In later sections I develop positive accounts of: (1) Tarski's reduction of semantic concepts; (2) Tarski's motivation to develop formal semantics in the particular way he does; and (3) the role physicalism plays in Tarski's thought. (shrink)
Tarski’s Convention T—presenting his notion of adequate definition of truth (sic)—contains two conditions: alpha and beta. Alpha requires that all instances of a certain T Schema be provable. Beta requires in effect the provability of ‘every truth is a sentence’. Beta formally recognizes the fact, repeatedly emphasized by Tarski, that sentences (devoid of free variable occurrences)—as opposed to pre-sentences (having free occurrences of variables)—exhaust the range of significance of is true. In Tarski’s preferred usage, it is part of the meaning (...) of true that attribution of being true to a given thing presupposes the thing is a sentence. Beta’s importance is further highlighted by the fact that alpha can be satisfied using the recursively definable concept of being satisfied by every infinite sequence, which Tarski explicitly rejects. Moreover, in Definition 23, the famous truth-definition, Tarski supplements “being satisfied by every infinite sequence” by adding the condition “being a sentence”. Even where truth is undefinable and treated by Tarski axiomatically, he adds as an explicit axiom a sentence to the effect that every truth is a sentence. Surprisingly, the sentence just before the presentation of Convention T seems to imply that alpha alone might be sufficient. Even more surprising is the sentence just after Convention T saying beta “is not essential”. Why include a condition if it is not essential? Tarski says nothing about this dissonance. Considering the broader context, the Polish original, the German translation from which the English was derived, and other sources, we attempt to determine what Tarski might have intended by the two troubling sentences which, as they stand, are contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of several other passages in Tarski’s corpus. (shrink)
We discuss misinformation about “the liar antinomy” with special reference to Tarski’s 1933 truth-definition paper [1]. Lies are speech-acts, not merely sentences or propositions. Roughly, lies are statements of propositions not believed by their speakers. Speakers who state their false beliefs are often not lying. And speakers who state true propositions that they don’t believe are often lying—regardless of whether the non-belief is disbelief. Persons who state propositions on which they have no opinion are lying as much as those who (...) state propositions they believe to be false. Not all lies are statements of false propositions—some lies are true; some have no truth-value. People who only occasionally lie are not liars: roughly, liars repeatedly and habitually lie. Some half-truths are statements intended to mislead even though the speakers “interpret” the sentences used as expressing true propositions. Others are statements of propositions believed by the speakers to be questionable but without revealing their supposed problematic nature. The two “formulations” of “the antinomy of the liar” in [1], pp.157–8 and 161–2, have nothing to do with lying or liars. The first focuses on an “expression” Tarski calls ‘c’, namely the following. -/- c is not a true sentence -/- The second focuses on another “expression”, also called ‘c’, namely the following. -/- for all p, if c is identical with the sentence ‘p’, then not p -/- Without argumentation or even discussion, Tarski implies that these strange “expressions” are English sentences. [1] Alfred Tarski, The concept of truth in formalized languages, pp. 152–278, Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics, papers from 1923 to 1938, ed. John Corcoran, Hackett, Indianapolis 1983. -/- https://www.academia.edu/12525833/Sentence_Proposition_Judgment_Statement_and_Fact_Speaking_about_th e_Written_English_Used_in_Logic. (shrink)
Alfred Tarski (1901--1983) is widely regarded as one of the two giants of twentieth-century logic and also as one of the four greatest logicians of all time (Aristotle, Frege and Gödel being the other three). Of the four, Tarski was the most prolific as a logician. The four volumes of his collected papers, which exclude most of his 19 monographs, span over 2500 pages. Aristotle's writings are comparable in volume, but most of the Aristotelian corpus is not about logic, whereas (...) virtually everything written by Tarski concerns logic more or less directly. There is no doubt that Tarski wrote more on logic than any other author; he started publishing on logic in 1921 at the age of 20 and continued until his death at the age of 82. Two of his works appeared posthumously [Hist. Philos. Logic 7 (1986), no. 2, 143--154; MR0868748 (88b:03010); Tarski and Givant, A formalization of set theory without variables, Amer. Math. Soc., Providence, RI, 1987; MR0920815 (89g:03012)]. Tarski's voluminous writings were widely scattered in numerous journals, some quite rare. It has been extremely difficult to study the development of Tarski's thought and to trace the interconnections and interdependence of his various papers. Thanks to the present collection all this has changed, and it is likely that the increased accessibility of Tarski's papers will have the effect of increasing Tarski's already enormous influence. (shrink)
It is one thing for a given proposition to follow or to not follow from a given set of propositions and it is quite another thing for it to be shown either that the given proposition follows or that it does not follow.* Using a formal deduction to show that a conclusion follows and using a countermodel to show that a conclusion does not follow are both traditional practices recognized by Aristotle and used down through the history of logic. These (...) practices presuppose, respectively, a criterion of validity and a criterion of invalidity each of which has been extended and refined by modern logicians: deductions are studied in formal syntax (proof theory) and coun¬termodels are studied in formal semantics (model theory). The purpose of this paper is to compare these two criteria to the corresponding criteria employed in Boole’s first logical work, The Mathematical Analysis of Logic (1847). In particular, this paper presents a detailed study of the relevant metalogical passages and an analysis of Boole’s symbolic derivations. It is well known, of course, that Boole’s logical analysis of compound terms (involving ‘not’, ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘except’, etc.) contributed to the enlargement of the class of propositions and arguments formally treatable in logic. The present study shows, in addition, that Boole made significant contributions to the study of deduc¬tive reasoning. He identified the role of logical axioms (as opposed to inference rules) in formal deductions, he conceived of the idea of an axiomatic deductive sys¬tem (which yields logical truths by itself and which yields consequences when ap¬plied to arbitrary premises). Nevertheless, surprisingly, Boole’s attempt to imple¬ment his idea of an axiomatic deductive system involved striking omissions: Boole does not use his own formal deductions to establish validity. Boole does give symbolic derivations, several of which are vitiated by “Boole’s Solutions Fallacy”: the fallacy of supposing that a solution to an equation is necessarily a logical consequence of the equation. This fallacy seems to have led Boole to confuse equational calculi (i.e., methods for gen-erating solutions) with deduction procedures (i.e., methods for generating consequences). The methodological confusion is closely related to the fact, shown in detail below, that Boole had adopted an unsound criterion of validity. It is also shown that Boole totally ignored the countermodel criterion of invalid¬ity. Careful examination of the text does not reveal with certainty a test for invalidity which was adopted by Boole. However, we have isolated a test that he seems to use in this way and we show that this test is ineffectual in the sense that it does not serve to identify invalid arguments. We go beyond the simple goal stated above. Besides comparing Boole’s earliest criteria of validity and invalidity with those traditionally (and still generally) employed, this paper also investigates the framework and details of THE MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS OF LOGIC. (shrink)
In this paper the importance of Tarski's truth definition is evaluated like a productive resource to criticize Nietzsche's nihilistic view and any pragmatic understanding of truth.
It might come as a surprise for someone who has only a superficial knowledge of Donald Davidson’s philosophy that he has claimed literary language to be ‘a prime test of the adequacy of any view on the nature of language’.1 The claim, however, captures well the transformation that has happened in Davidson’s thinking on language since he began in the 1960’s to develop a truth-conditional semantic theory for natural languages in the lines of Alfred Tarski’s semantic conception of truth. About (...) twenty years afterwards, this project was replaced with a view that highlights the flexible nature of language and, in consequence, the importance of the speaker’s intentions for a theory of meaning, culminating in Davidson’s staggering claim that ‘there is no such thing as a language’. (shrink)
A Mathematical Review by John Corcoran, SUNY/Buffalo -/- Macbeth, Danielle Diagrammatic reasoning in Frege's Begriffsschrift. Synthese 186 (2012), no. 1, 289–314. ABSTRACT This review begins with two quotations from the paper: its abstract and the first paragraph of the conclusion. The point of the quotations is to make clear by the “give-them-enough-rope” strategy how murky, incompetent, and badly written the paper is. I know I am asking a lot, but I have to ask you to read the quoted passages—aloud if (...) possible. Don’t miss the silly attempt to recycle Kant’s quip “Concepts without intuitions are empty; intuitions without concepts are blind”. What the paper was aiming at includes the absurdity: “Proofs without definitions are empty; definitions without proofs are, if not blind, then dumb.” But the author even bollixed this. The editor didn’t even notice. The copy-editor missed it. And the author’s proof-reading did not catch it. In order not to torment you I will quote the sentence as it appears: “In a slogan: proofs without definitions are empty, merely the aimless manipulation of signs according to rules; and definitions without proofs are, if no blind, then dumb.”[sic] The rest of my review discusses the paper’s astounding misattribution to contemporary logicians of the information-theoretic approach. This approach was cruelly trashed by Quine in his 1970 Philosophy of Logic, and thereafter ignored by every text I know of. The paper under review attributes generally to modern philosophers and logicians views that were never espoused by any of the prominent logicians—such as Hilbert, Gödel, Tarski, Church, and Quine—apparently in an attempt to distance them from Frege: the focus of the article. On page 310 we find the following paragraph. “In our logics it is assumed that inference potential is given by truth-conditions. Hence, we think, deduction can be nothing more than a matter of making explicit information that is already contained in one’s premises. If the deduction is valid then the information contained in the conclusion must be contained already in the premises; if that information is not contained already in the premises […], then the argument cannot be valid.” Although the paper is meticulous in citing supporting literature for less questionable points, no references are given for this. In fact, the view that deduction is the making explicit of information that is only implicit in premises has not been espoused by any standard symbolic logic books. It has only recently been articulated by a small number of philosophical logicians from a younger generation, for example, in the prize-winning essay by J. Sagüillo, Methodological practice and complementary concepts of logical consequence: Tarski’s model-theoretic consequence and Corcoran’s information-theoretic consequence, History and Philosophy of Logic, 30 (2009), pp. 21–48. The paper omits definitions of key terms including ‘ampliative’, ‘explicatory’, ‘inference potential’, ‘truth-condition’, and ‘information’. The definition of prime number on page 292 is as follows: “To say that a number is prime is to say that it is not divisible without remainder by another number”. This would make one be the only prime number. The paper being reviewed had the benefit of two anonymous referees who contributed “very helpful comments on an earlier draft”. Could these anonymous referees have read the paper? -/- J. Corcoran, U of Buffalo, SUNY -/- PS By the way, if anyone has a paper that has been turned down by other journals, any journal that would publish something like this might be worth trying. (shrink)
One innovation in this paper is its identification, analysis, and description of a troubling ambiguity in the word ‘argument’. In one sense ‘argument’ denotes a premise-conclusion argument: a two-part system composed of a set of sentences—the premises—and a single sentence—the conclusion. In another sense it denotes a premise-conclusion-mediation argument—later called an argumentation: a three-part system composed of a set of sentences—the premises—a single sentence—the conclusion—and complex of sentences—the mediation. The latter is often intended to show that the conclusion follows from (...) the premises. The complementarity and interrelation of premise-conclusion arguments and premise-conclusion-mediation arguments resonate throughout the rest of the paper which articulates the conceptual structure found in logic from Aristotle to Tarski. This 1972 paper can be seen as anticipating Corcoran’s signature work: the more widely read 1989 paper, Argumentations and Logic, Argumentation 3, 17–43. MR91b:03006. The 1972 paper was translated into Portuguese. The 1989 paper was translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Persian. (shrink)
JOHN CORCORAN AND WILIAM FRANK. Surprises in logic. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic. 19 253. Some people, not just beginning students, are at first surprised to learn that the proposition “If zero is odd, then zero is not odd” is not self-contradictory. Some people are surprised to find out that there are logically equivalent false universal propositions that have no counterexamples in common, i. e., that no counterexample for one is a counterexample for the other. Some people would be surprised to (...) find out that in normal first-order logic existential import is quite common: some universals “Everything that is S is P” —actually quite a few—imply their corresponding existentials “Something that is S is P”. Anyway, perhaps contrary to its title, this paper is not a cataloging of surprises in logic but rather about the mistakes that did or might have or might still lead people to think that there are no surprises in logic. The paper cataloging of surprises in logic is on our “to-do” list. -/- ► JOHN CORCORAN AND WILIAM FRANK, Surprises in logic. Philosophy, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260-4150, USA E-mail: corcoran@buffalo.edu There are many surprises in logic. Peirce gave us a few. Russell gave Frege one. Löwenheim gave Zermelo one. Gödel gave some to Hilbert. Tarski gave us several. When we get a surprise, we are often delighted, puzzled, or skeptical. Sometimes we feel or say “Nice!”, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”, “Is that so?”, or the like. Every surprise belongs to someone. There are no disembodied surprises. Saying there are surprises in logic means that logicians experience surprises doing logic—not that among logical propositions some are intrinsically or objectively “surprising”. The expression “That isn’t surprising” often denigrates logical results. Logicians often aim for surprises. In fact, [1] argues that logic’s potential for surprises helps motivate its study and, indeed, helps justify logic’s existence as a discipline. Besides big surprises that change logicians’ perspectives, the logician’s daily life brings little surprises, e.g. that Gödel’s induction axiom alone implies Robinson’s axiom. Sometimes wild guesses succeed. Sometimes promising ideas fail. Perhaps one of the least surprising things about logic is that it is full of surprises. Against the above is Wittgenstein’s surprising conclusion : “Hence there can never be surprises in logic”. This paper unearths basic mistakes in [2] that might help to explain how Wittgenstein arrived at his false conclusion and why he never caught it. The mistakes include: unawareness that surprise is personal, confusing logicians having certainty with propositions having logical necessity, confusing definitions with criteria, and thinking that facts demonstrate truths. People demonstrate truths using their deductive know-how and their knowledge of facts: facts per se are epistemically inert. [1] JOHN CORCORAN, Hidden consequence and hidden independence. This Bulletin, vol.16, p. 443. [2] LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Kegan Paul, London, 1921. -/-. (shrink)
A general characterization of logical opposition is given in the present paper, where oppositions are defined by specific answers in an algebraic question-answer game. It is shown that opposition is essentially a semantic relation of truth values between syntactic opposites, before generalizing the theory of opposition from the initial Apuleian square to a variety of alter- native geometrical representations. In the light of this generalization, the famous problem of existential import is traced back to an ambiguous interpretation of assertoric sentences (...) in Aristotle's traditional logic. Following Abelard’s distinction between two alternative readings of the O-vertex: Non omnis and Quidam non, a logical difference is made between negation and denial by means of a more fine- grained modal analysis. A consistent treatment of assertoric oppositions is thus made possible by an underlying abstract theory of logical opposition, where the central concept is negation. A parallel is finally drawn between opposition and consequence, laying the ground for future works on an abstract operator of opposition that would characterize logical negation just as does Tarski’s operator of consequence for logical truth. (shrink)
I present a reconstruction of the logical system of the Tractatus, which differs from classical logic in two ways. It includes an account of Wittgenstein’s “form-series” device, which suffices to express some effectively generated countably infinite disjunctions. And its attendant notion of structure is relativized to the fixed underlying universe of what is named. -/- There follow three results. First, the class of concepts definable in the system is closed under finitary induction. Second, if the universe of objects is countably (...) infinite, then the property of being a tautology is \Pi^1_1-complete. But third, it is only granted the assumption of countability that the class of tautologies is \Sigma_1-definable in set theory. -/- Wittgenstein famously urges that logical relationships must show themselves in the structure of signs. He also urges that the size of the universe cannot be prejudged. The results of this paper indicate that there is no single way in which logical relationships could be held to make themselves manifest in signs, which does not prejudge the number of objects. (shrink)
The aim of this dissertation is to offer and defend a correspondence theory of truth. I begin by critically examining the coherence, pragmatic, simple, redundancy, disquotational, minimal, and prosentential theories of truth. Special attention is paid to several versions of disquotationalism, whose plausibility has led to its fairly constant support since the pioneering work of Alfred Tarski, through that by W. V. Quine, and recently in the work of Paul Horwich. I argue that none of these theories meets the correspondence (...) intuition---that a true sentence or proposition in some way corresponds to reality---despite the explicit claims by each to capture this intuition. I distinguish six versions of the correspondence theory, and defend two against traditional objections, standardly taken as decisive against them, and show, plainly, that these two theories capture the correspondence intuition. Due to the importance of meeting this intuition, only these two theories stands a chance of being a satisfactory theory of truth. I argue that the version of the correspondence theory incorporating a simple semantic representation relation is preferable to its rival, for which the representation relation is complex. I present and argue for a novel version of this correspondence theory according to which truth is a correspondence property sensitive to semantic context. One consequence of this context-sensitivity is that an ungrounded sentence does not express a proposition. In addition to accounting for the similarity between the Liar and Truth-Teller sentences, this theory of truth is immune to the Liar Paradox, including empirical versions. It is argued that the Liar Paradox is devastating to all of the other theories above, and even formal theories of truth designed to solve it, such as the revision and vagueness theories. Customized versions of the Liar Paradox besetting this theory are handled by its context-sensitivity, and by enforcing the distinction between truth and truth value. This same pair of considerations also yields solutions to Lob's Paradox and Grelling's Paradox. Arguments similar to those given to defend this correspondence theory show that with one minor alteration, Kripke's fixed point theory may be used to model this correspondence notion of truth. (shrink)
Alfred Tarski was one of the greatest logicians of the twentieth century. His influence comes not merely through his own work but from the legion of students who pursued his projects, both in Poland and Berkeley. This chapter focuses on three key areas of Tarski's research, beginning with his groundbreaking studies of the concept of truth. Tarski's work led to the creation of the area of mathematical logic known as model theory and prefigured semantic approaches in the philosophy (...) of language and philosophical logic, such as Kripke's possible worlds semantics for modal logic. We also examine the paradoxical decomposition of the sphere known as the Banach–Tarski paradox. Finally we examine Tarski's work on decidable and undecidable theories, which he carried out in collaboration with students such as Mostowski, Presburger, Robinson and others. (shrink)
The Introduction outlines, in a concise way, the history of the Lvov-Warsaw School – a most unique Polish school of worldwide renown, which pioneered trends combining philosophy, logic, mathematics and language. The author accepts that the beginnings of the School fall on the year 1895, when its founder Kazimierz Twardowski, a disciple of Franz Brentano, came to Lvov on his mission to organize a scientific circle. Soon, among the characteristic features of the School was its serious approach towards philosophical studies (...) and teaching of philosophy, dealing with philosophy and propagation of it as an intellectual and moral mission, passion for clarity and precision, as well as exchange of thoughts, and cooperation with representatives of other disciplines.The genesis is followed by a chronological presentation of the development of the School in the successive years. The author mentions all the key representatives of the School (among others, Ajdukiewicz, Lesniewski, Łukasiewicz,Tarski), accompanying the names with short descriptions of their achievements. The development of the School after Poland’s regaining independence in 1918 meant part of the members moving from Lvov to Warsaw, thus providing the other segment to the name – Warsaw School of Logic. The author dwells longer on the activity of the School during the Interwar period – the time of its greatest prosperity, which ended along with the outbreak of World War 2. Attempts made after the War to recreate the spirit of the School are also outlined and the names of followers are listed accordingly. The presentation ends with some concluding remarks on the contribution of the School to contemporary developments in the fields of philosophy, mathematical logic or computer science in Poland. (shrink)
In his essay ‘“Wang’s Paradox”’, Crispin Wright proposes a solution to the Sorites Paradox (in particular, the form of it he calls the ‘Paradox of Sharp Boundaries’) that involves adopting intuitionistic logic when reasoning with vague predicates. He does not give a semantic theory which accounts for the validity of intuitionistic logic (and the invalidity of stronger logics) in that area. The present essay tentatively makes good the deficiency. By applying a theorem of Tarski, it shows that intuitionistic logic is (...) the strongest logic that may be applied, given certain semantic assumptions about vague predicates. The essay ends with an inconclusive discussion of whether those semantic assumptions should be accepted. (shrink)
Alfred Tarski seems to endorse a partial conception of truth, the T-schema, which he believes might be clarified by the application of empirical methods, specifically citing the experimental results of Arne Næss (1938a). The aim of this paper is to argue that Næss’ empirical work confirmed Tarski’s semantic conception of truth, among others. In the first part, I lay out the case for believing that Tarski’s T-schema, while not the formal and generalizable Convention-T, provides a partial account of truth that (...) may be buttressed by an examination of the ordinary person’s views of truth. Then, I address a concern raised by Tarski’s contemporaries who saw Næss’ results as refuting Tarski’s semantic conception. Following that, I summarize Næss’ results. Finally, I will contend with a few objections that suggest a strict interpretation of Næss’ results might recommend an overturning of Tarski’s theory. (shrink)
Tarski’s pioneering work on truth has been thought by some to motivate a robust, correspondence-style theory of truth, and by others to motivate a deflationary attitude toward truth. I argue that Tarski’s work suggests neither; if it motivates any contemporary theory of truth, it motivates conceptual primitivism, the view that truth is a fundamental, indefinable concept. After outlining conceptual primitivism and Tarski’s theory of truth, I show how the two approaches to truth share much in common. While Tarski does not (...) explicitly accept primitivism, the view is open to him, and fits better with his formal work on truth than do correspondence or deflationary theories. Primitivists, in turn, may rely on Tarski’s insights in motivating their own perspective on truth. I conclude by showing how viewing Tarski through the primitivist lens provides a fresh response to some familiar charges from Putnam and Etchemendy. (shrink)
In the early 20th century, scepticism was common among philosophers about the very meaningfulness of the notion of truth – and of the related notions of denotation, definition etc. (i.e., what Tarski called semantical concepts). Awareness was growing of the various logical paradoxes and anomalies arising from these concepts. In addition, more philosophical reasons were being given for this aversion.1 The atmosphere changed dramatically with Alfred Tarski’s path-breaking contribution. What Tarski did was to show that, assuming that the syntax of (...) the object language is specified exactly enough, and that the metatheory has a certain amount of set theoretic power,2 one can explicitly define truth in the object language. And what can be explicitly defined can be eliminated. It follows that the defined concept cannot give rise to any inconsistencies (that is, paradoxes). This gave new respectability to the concept of truth and related notions. Nevertheless, philosophers’ judgements on the nature and philosophical relevance of Tarski’s work have varied. It is my aim here to review and evaluate some threads in this debate. (shrink)
Hilary Putnam's famous arguments criticizing Tarski's theory of truth are evaluated. It is argued that they do not succeed to undermine Tarski's approach. One of the arguments is based on the problematic idea of a false instance of T-schema. The other ignores various issues essential for Tarski's setting such as language-relativity of truth definition.
According to Field’s influential incompleteness objection, Tarski’s semantic theory of truth is unsatisfactory since the definition that forms its basis is incomplete in two distinct senses: (1) it is physicalistically inadequate, and for this reason, (2) it is conceptually deficient. In this paper, I defend the semantic theory of truth against the incompleteness objection by conceding (1) but rejecting (2). After arguing that Davidson and McDowell’s reply to the incompleteness objection fails to pass muster, I argue that, within the constraints (...) of a non-reductive physicalism and a holism concerning the concepts of truth, reference and meaning, conceding Field’s physicalistic inadequacy conclusion while rejecting his conceptual deficiency conclusion is a promising reply to the incompleteness objection. (shrink)
Corcoran’s 27 entries in the 1999 second edition of Robert Audi’s Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy [Cambridge: Cambridge UP]. -/- ancestral, axiomatic method, borderline case, categoricity, Church (Alonzo), conditional, convention T, converse (outer and inner), corresponding conditional, degenerate case, domain, De Morgan, ellipsis, laws of thought, limiting case, logical form, logical subject, material adequacy, mathematical analysis, omega, proof by recursion, recursive function theory, scheme, scope, Tarski (Alfred), tautology, universe of discourse. -/- The entire work is available online free at more than (...) one website. Paste the whole URL. http://archive.org/stream/RobertiAudi_The.Cambridge.Dictionary.of.Philosophy/Robert.Audi_The.Cambrid ge.Dictionary.of.Philosophy -/- The 2015 third edition will be available soon. Before you think of buying it read some reviews on Amazon and read reviews of its competition: For example, my review of the 2008 Oxford Companion to Philosophy, History and Philosophy of Logic,29:3,291-292. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01445340701300429 -/- Some of the entries have already been found to be flawed. For example, Tarski’s expression ‘materially adequate’ was misinterpreted in at least one article and it was misused in another where ‘materially correct’ should have been used. The discussion provides an opportunity to bring more flaws to light. -/- Acknowledgements: Each of these entries was presented at meetings of The Buffalo Logic Dictionary Project sponsored by The Buffalo Logic Colloquium. The members of the colloquium read drafts before the meetings and were generous with corrections, objections, and suggestions. Usually one 90-minute meeting was devoted to one entry although in some cases, for example, “axiomatic method”, took more than one meeting. Moreover, about half of the entries are rewrites of similarly named entries in the 1995 first edition. Besides the help received from people in Buffalo, help from elsewhere was received by email. We gratefully acknowledge the following: José Miguel Sagüillo, John Zeis, Stewart Shapiro, Davis Plache, Joseph Ernst, Richard Hull, Concha Martinez, Laura Arcila, James Gasser, Barry Smith, Randall Dipert, Stanley Ziewacz, Gerald Rising, Leonard Jacuzzo, George Boger, William Demopolous, David Hitchcock, John Dawson, Daniel Halpern, William Lawvere, John Kearns, Ky Herreid, Nicolas Goodman, William Parry, Charles Lambros, Harvey Friedman, George Weaver, Hughes Leblanc, James Munz, Herbert Bohnert, Robert Tragesser, David Levin, Sriram Nambiar, and others. -/- . (shrink)
This paper describes Tarski’s project of rehabilitating the notion of truth, previously considered dubious by many philosophers. The project was realized by providing a formal truth definition, which does not employ any problematic concept.
We consider the argument that Tarski's classic definitions permit an intelligence---whether human or mechanistic---to admit finitary evidence-based definitions of the satisfaction and truth of the atomic formulas of the first-order Peano Arithmetic PA over the domain N of the natural numbers in two, hitherto unsuspected and essentially different, ways: (1) in terms of classical algorithmic verifiabilty; and (2) in terms of finitary algorithmic computability. We then show that the two definitions correspond to two distinctly different assignments of satisfaction and (...) truth to the compound formulas of PA over N---I_PA(N; SV ) and I_PA(N; SC). We further show that the PA axioms are true over N, and that the PA rules of inference preserve truth over N, under both I_PA(N; SV ) and I_PA(N; SC). We then show: (a) that if we assume the satisfaction and truth of the compound formulas of PA are always non-finitarily decidable under I_PA(N; SV ), then this assignment corresponds to the classical non-finitary putative standard interpretation I_PA(N; S) of PA over the domain N; and (b) that the satisfaction and truth of the compound formulas of PA are always finitarily decidable under the assignment I_PA(N; SC), from which we may finitarily conclude that PA is consistent. We further conclude that the appropriate inference to be drawn from Goedel's 1931 paper on undecidable arithmetical propositions is that we can define PA formulas which---under interpretation---are algorithmically verifiable as always true over N, but not algorithmically computable as always true over N. We conclude from this that Lucas' Goedelian argument is validated if the assignment I_PA(N; SV ) can be treated as circumscribing the ambit of human reasoning about `true' arithmetical propositions, and the assignment I_PA(N; SC) as circumscribing the ambit of mechanistic reasoning about `true' arithmetical propositions. (shrink)
Formalizing Euclid’s first axiom. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic. 20 (2014) 404–5. (Coauthor: Daniel Novotný) -/- Euclid [fl. 300 BCE] divides his basic principles into what came to be called ‘postulates’ and ‘axioms’—two words that are synonyms today but which are commonly used to translate Greek words meant by Euclid as contrasting terms. -/- Euclid’s postulates are specifically geometric: they concern geometric magnitudes, shapes, figures, etc.—nothing else. The first: “to draw a line from any point to any point”; the last: the (...) parallel postulate. -/- Euclid’s axioms are general principles of magnitude: they concern geometric magnitudes and magnitudes of other kinds as well even numbers. The first is often translated “Things that equal the same thing equal one another”. -/- There are other differences that are or might become important. -/- Aristotle [fl. 350 BCE] meticulously separated his basic principles [archai, singular archê] according to subject matter: geometrical, arithmetic, astronomical, etc. However, he made no distinction that can be assimilated to Euclid’s postulate/axiom distinction. -/- Today we divide basic principles into non-logical [topic-specific] and logical [topic-neutral] but this too is not the same as Euclid’s. In this regard it is important to be cognizant of the difference between equality and identity—a distinction often crudely ignored by modern logicians. Tarski is a rare exception. The four angles of a rectangle are equal to—not identical to—one another; the size of one angle of a rectangle is identical to the size of any other of its angles. No two angles are identical to each other. -/- The sentence ‘Things that equal the same thing equal one another’ contains no occurrence of the word ‘magnitude’. This paper considers the problem of formalizing the proposition Euclid intended as a principle of magnitudes while being faithful to the logical form and to its information content. (shrink)
We show how removing faith-based beliefs in current philosophies of classical and constructive mathematics admits formal, evidence-based, definitions of constructive mathematics; of a constructively well-defined logic of a formal mathematical language; and of a constructively well-defined model of such a language. -/- We argue that, from an evidence-based perspective, classical approaches which follow Hilbert's formal definitions of quantification can be labelled `theistic'; whilst constructive approaches based on Brouwer's philosophy of Intuitionism can be labelled `atheistic'. -/- We then adopt what may (...) be labelled a finitary, evidence-based, `agnostic' perspective and argue that Brouwerian atheism is merely a restricted perspective within the finitary agnostic perspective, whilst Hilbertian theism contradicts the finitary agnostic perspective. -/- We then consider the argument that Tarski's classic definitions permit an intelligence---whether human or mechanistic---to admit finitary, evidence-based, definitions of the satisfaction and truth of the atomic formulas of the first-order Peano Arithmetic PA over the domain N of the natural numbers in two, hitherto unsuspected and essentially different, ways. -/- We show that the two definitions correspond to two distinctly different---not necessarily evidence-based but complementary---assignments of satisfaction and truth to the compound formulas of PA over N. -/- We further show that the PA axioms are true over N, and that the PA rules of inference preserve truth over N, under both the complementary interpretations; and conclude some unsuspected constructive consequences of such complementarity for the foundations of mathematics, logic, philosophy, and the physical sciences. -/- . (shrink)
The problem analysed in this paper is whether we can gain knowledge by using valid inferences, and how we can explain this process from a model-theoretic perspective. According to the paradox of inference (Cohen & Nagel 1936/1998, 173), it is logically impossible for an inference to be both valid and its conclusion to possess novelty with respect to the premises. I argue in this paper that valid inference has an epistemic significance, i.e., it can be used by an agent to (...) enlarge his knowledge, and this significance can be accounted in model-theoretic terms. I will argue first that the paradox is based on an equivocation, namely, it arises because logical containment, i.e., logical implication, is identified with epistemological containment, i.e., the knowledge of the premises entails the knowledge of the conclusion. Second, I will argue that a truth-conditional theory of meaning has the necessary resources to explain the epistemic significance of valid inferences. I will explain this epistemic significance starting from Carnap’s semantic theory of meaning and Tarski’s notion of satisfaction. In this way I will counter (Prawitz 2012b)’s claim that a truth-conditional theory of meaning is not able to account the legitimacy of valid inferences, i.e., their epistemic significance. (shrink)
The period from 1900 to 1935 was particularly fruitful and important for the development of logic and logical metatheory. This survey is organized along eight "itineraries" concentrating on historically and conceptually linked strands in this development. Itinerary I deals with the evolution of conceptions of axiomatics. Itinerary II centers on the logical work of Bertrand Russell. Itinerary III presents the development of set theory from Zermelo onward. Itinerary IV discusses the contributions of the algebra of logic tradition, in particular, Löwenheim (...) and Skolem. Itinerary V surveys the work in logic connected to the Hilbert school, and itinerary V deals specifically with consistency proofs and metamathematics, including the incompleteness theorems. Itinerary VII traces the development of intuitionistic and many-valued logics. Itinerary VIII surveys the development of semantical notions from the early work on axiomatics up to Tarski's work on truth. (shrink)
In Replacing Truth, Scharp takes the concept of truth to be fundamentally incoherent. As such, Scharp reckons it to be unsuited for systematic philosophical theorising and in need of replacement – at least for regions of thought and talk which permit liar sentences and their ilk to be formulated. This replacement methodology is radical because it not only recommends that the concept of truth be replaced, but that the word ‘true’ be replaced too. Only Tarski has attempted anything like it (...) before. I dub such a view Conceptual Marxism. In assessing this view, my goals are fourfold: to summarise the many components of Scharp’s theory of truth; to highlight what I take to be some of the excess baggage carried by the view; to assess whether, and to what extent, the extreme methodology on offer is at all called for; finally, to briefly propose a less radical replacement strategy for resolving the liar paradox. (shrink)
Both Tarski and Gödel “prove” that provability can diverge from Truth. When we boil their claim down to its simplest possible essence it is really claiming that valid inference from true premises might not always derive a true consequence. This is obviously impossible.
Information-theoretic approaches to formal logic analyze the "common intuitive" concepts of implication, consequence, and validity in terms of information content of propositions and sets of propositions: one given proposition implies a second if the former contains all of the information contained by the latter; one given proposition is a consequence of a second if the latter contains all of the information contained by the former; an argument is valid if the conclusion contains no information beyond that of the (...) premise-set. This paper locates information-theoretic approaches historically, philosophically, and pragmatically. Advantages and disadvantages are identified by examining such approaches in themselves and by contrasting them with standard transformation-theoretic approaches. Transformation-theoretic approaches analyze validity (and thus implication) in terms of transformations that map one argument onto another: a given argument is valid if no transformation carries it onto an argument with all true premises and false conclusion. Model-theoretic, set-theoretic, and substitution-theoretic approaches, which dominate current literature, can be construed as transformation-theoretic, as can the so-called possible-worlds approaches. Ontic and epistemic presuppositions of both types of approaches are considered. Attention is given to the question of whether our historically cumulative experience applying logic is better explained from a purely information-theoretic perspective or from a purely transformation-theoretic perspective or whether apparent conflicts between the two types of approaches need to be reconciled in order to forge a new type of approach that recognizes their basic complementarity. (shrink)
Recent scholarship indicates that Quine’s “Truth by Convention” does not present the radical critiques of analytic truth found fifteen years later in “Two Dogmas of Empiricism.” This prompts a historical question: what caused Quine’s radicalization? I argue that two crucial components of Quine’s development can be traced to the academic year 1940–1941, when he, Russell, Carnap, Tarski, Hempel, and Goodman were all at Harvard together. First, during those meetings, Quine recognizes that Carnap has abandoned the extensional, syntactic approach to philosophical (...) analysis, an approach espoused in Carnap’s 1934 Logical Syntax of Language, and which Quine endorsed his entire career. Second, Tarski presents Quine with a philosophically well-motivated reason to think that an apparently analytic discipline, arithmetic, could be synthetic; this reflects one of the central assertions found in “Two Dogmas” but not in “Truth by Convention.” I use this account of Quine’s development to resolve a dispute between Creath and Mancosu concerning the timeline for Quine’s evolving critiques of analyticity. (shrink)
As analytic philosophy is becoming increasingly aware of and interested in its own history, the study of that field is broadening to include, not just its earliest beginnings, but also the mid-twentieth century. One of the towering figures of this epoch is W.V. Quine (1908-2000), champion of naturalism in philosophy of science, pioneer of mathematical logic, trying to unite an austerely physicalist theory of the world with the truths of mathematics, psychology, and linguistics. Quine's posthumous papers, notes, and drafts revealing (...) the development of his views in the forties have recently begun to be published, as well as careful philosophical studies of, for instance, the evolution of his key doctrine that mathematical and logical truth are continuous with, not divorced from, the truths of natural science. But one central text has remained unexplored: Quine's Portuguese-language book on logic, his 'farewell for now' to the discipline as he embarked on an assignment in the Navy in WWII. Anglophone philosophers have neglected this book because they could not read it. Jointly with colleagues, I have completed the first full English translation of this book. In this accompanying paper I draw out the main philosophical contributions Quine made in the book, placing them in their historical context and relating them to Quine's overall philosophical development during the period. Besides significant developments in the evolution of Quine's views on meaning and analyticity, I argue, this book is also driven by Quine's indebtedness to Russell and Whitehead, Tarski, and Frege, and contains crucial developments in his thinking on philosophy of logic and ontology. This includes early versions of some arguments from 'On What There Is', four-dimensionalism, and virtual set theory. (shrink)
Imagine an equilateral triangle “pointing upward”—its horizontal base under its apex angle. A semiotic triangle has the following three “vertexes”: (apex) an expression, (lower-left) one of the expression’s conceptual meanings or senses, and (lower-right) the referent or denotation determined by the sense [1, pp. 88ff]. One example: the eight-letter string ‘coleslaw’ (apex), the concept “coleslaw” (lower-left), and the salad coleslaw (lower-right) [1, p. 84f]. Using Church’s terminology [2, pp. 6, 41]—modifying Frege’s—the word ‘coleslaw’ expresses the concept “coleslaw”, the word ‘coleslaw’ (...) denotes or names the salad coleslaw, and the concept “coleslaw” determines the salad coleslaw—recalling Frege’s principle that sense determines denotation. Church [2, p. 6] wrote: -/- We shall say that a name denotes or names its denotation and expresses its sense. […] Of the sense we say that it determines its denotation, or is a concept of the denotation. -/- Aristotle seems cognizant of distinctions going beyond those in semiotic triangles. The expression Aristotle’s semiotic pyramids seem warranted by Aristotle’s Categories, 1a1: -/- When [two] things have a name (onoma) in common and the concept (logos) of being (ousia) which corresponds to the name in each case is different, they are called same-named (homonuma). Thus, for example, both a man and a picture [of an animal] are called animals. These have only a name in common. In each case the name’s concept of being [an animal] is different; for if one says what being an animal is for each of them, one will give two distinct concepts. -/- Semiotic triangles and pyramids in Aristotle’s logic are compared to those in Church’s [2]. [1] JOHN CORCORAN, Sentence, proposition, judgment, statement, and fact, Many Sides of Logic, College Publications, 2009. [2] ALONZO CHURCH, Introduction to Mathematical Logic, Princeton, 1956. -/- The semiotic pyramid in Categories, 1a1 has a square base under the vertex ‘animal’. On the corners of the square are: the concept “animal”, the concept “animal picture”, the animals, and the animal pictures. The animals are homonymous with the animal pictures. People find Aristotle’s example far-fetched or inept even if the experience of pointing to a picture while saying “That is Tarski” is familiar. Imagine looking at a painting while thinking “That is an animal”. Without putting too fine a point on this, notice that in Aristotle’s sense it is individual things that are homonymous, not words. It would be natural to say also in his sense that two things are homonyms if one is homonymous with the other. In contrast, we use the words homonym and homonymous to relate words that are spelled the same and pronounced the same but have different meaning. Consider the noun ‘center’ and the verb ‘center’. Consider the noun ‘smell’ and the verb ‘smell’. The spelling of two homonyms is an ambiguity, or an ambiguous spelling. We need appropriate adjectives to distinguish the Categorical senses of ‘homonym’ and ‘homonymous’ from the current English sense just mentioned. I propose ‘ontological’ for the sense relating things and ‘linguistic’ for that relating words. Given that all words are things but not all things are words, we ask are words that are linguistically homonymous also ontologically homonymous? END OF POST ABSTRACT. (shrink)
►JOHN CORCORAN AND IDRIS SAMAWI HAMID, Two-method errors: having it both ways. Philosophy, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260-4150, USA E-mail: corcoran@buffalo.edu Philosophy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1781 USA E-mail: ishamid@colostate.edu Where two methods produce similar results, mixing the two sometimes creates errors we call two-method errors, TMEs: in style, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, implicature, logic, or action. This lecture analyzes examples found in technical and in non-technical contexts. One can say “Abe knows whether Ben draws” in two other (...) ways: ‘Abe knows whether or not Ben draws’ or ‘Abe knows whether Ben draws or not’. But a stylistic TME occurs in ‘Abe knows whether or not Ben draws or not’. One can say “Abe knows how Ben looks” using ‘Abe knows what Ben looks like’. But syntactical TMEs are in ‘Abe knows what Ben looks’ and in ‘Abe knows how Ben looks like’. One can deny that Abe knows Ben by prefixing ‘It isn’t that’ or by interpolating ‘doesn’t’. But a pragmatic TME occurs in trying to deny that Abe knows Ben by using ‘It isn’t that Abe doesn’t know Ben’. There are several standard ways of defining truth using sequences. Quine’s discussions in the 1970 first printing of Philosophy of logic [3] and in previous lectures were vitiated by mixing two [1, p. 98]. The logical TME in [3], which eluded Quine’s colleagues, was corrected in the 1978 sixth printing [2]. But Quine never explicitly acknowledged, described, or even mentioned the error. This lecture presents and analyses two-method errors in the logic literature. [1] JOHN CORCORAN, Review of Quine’s 1970 Philosophy of Logic. In Philosophy of Science, vol. 39 (1972), pp. 97–99. [2] JOHN CORCORAN, Review of sixth printing of Quine’s 1970 Philosophy of Logic. In Mathematical Reviews MR0469684 (1979): 57 #9465. [3] WILLARD VAN ORMAN QUINE, Philosophy of logic, Harvard, 1970/1986. (shrink)
Bertrand Russell was one of the protagonists of the programme of reducing “disagreeable” concepts to philosophically more respectable ones. Throughout his life he was engaged in eliminating or paraphrasing away a copious variety of allegedly dubious concepts: propositions, definite descriptions, knowing subjects, and points, among others. The critical aim of this paper is to show that Russell’s construction of points, which has been considered as a paradigm of a logical construction überhaupt, fails for principal mathematical reasons. Russell could have known (...) this, if he had taken into account some pertinent results due to Hausdorff or Tarski. Its constructive aim is to show that one can save Russell’s thesis – that points can be defined in terms of events or regions – by using the conceptual resources of modern pointless topology. (shrink)
Mark Wilson argues that the standard categorizations of "Theory T thinking"— logic-centered conceptions of scientific organization (canonized via logical empiricists in the mid-twentieth century)—dampens the understanding and appreciation of those strategic subtleties working within science. By "Theory T thinking," we mean to describe the simplistic methodology in which mathematical science allegedly supplies ‘processes’ that parallel nature's own in a tidily isomorphic fashion, wherein "Theory T’s" feigned rigor and methodological dogmas advance inadequate discrimination that fails to distinguish between explanatory structures that (...) are architecturally distinct. One of Wilson's main goals is to reverse such premature exclusions and, thus, early on Wilson returns to John Locke's original physical concerns regarding material science and the congeries of descriptive concern insofar as capturing varied phenomena (i.e., cohesion, elasticity, fracture, and the transmission of coherent work) encountered amongst ordinary solids like wood and steel are concerned. Of course, Wilson methodologically updates such a purview by appealing to multiscalar techniques of modern computing, drawing from Robert Batterman's work on the greediness of scales and Jim Woodward's insights on causation. (shrink)
Prior Analytics by the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 – 322 BCE) and Laws of Thought by the English mathematician George Boole (1815 – 1864) are the two most important surviving original logical works from before the advent of modern logic. This article has a single goal: to compare Aristotle’s system with the system that Boole constructed over twenty-two centuries later intending to extend and perfect what Aristotle had started. This comparison merits an article itself. Accordingly, this article does not discuss (...) many other historically and philosophically important aspects of Boole’s book, e.g. his confused attempt to apply differential calculus to logic, his misguided effort to make his system of ‘class logic’ serve as a kind of ‘truth-functional logic’, his now almost forgotten foray into probability theory, or his blindness to the fact that a truth-functional combination of equations that follows from a given truth-functional combination of equations need not follow truth-functionally. One of the main conclusions is that Boole’s contribution widened logic and changed its nature to such an extent that he fully deserves to share with Aristotle the status of being a founding figure in logic. By setting forth in clear and systematic fashion the basic methods for establishing validity and for establishing invalidity, Aristotle became the founder of logic as formal epistemology. By making the first unmistakable steps toward opening logic to the study of ‘laws of thought’—tautologies and laws such as excluded middle and non-contradiction—Boole became the founder of logic as formal ontology. (shrink)
In this multi-disciplinary investigation we show how an evidence-based perspective of quantification---in terms of algorithmic verifiability and algorithmic computability---admits evidence-based definitions of well-definedness and effective computability, which yield two unarguably constructive interpretations of the first-order Peano Arithmetic PA---over the structure N of the natural numbers---that are complementary, not contradictory. The first yields the weak, standard, interpretation of PA over N, which is well-defined with respect to assignments of algorithmically verifiable Tarskian truth values to the formulas of PA under the interpretation. (...) The second yields a strong, finitary, interpretation of PA over N, which is well-defined with respect to assignments of algorithmically computable Tarskian truth values to the formulas of PA under the interpretation. We situate our investigation within a broad analysis of quantification vis a vis: * Hilbert's epsilon-calculus * Goedel's omega-consistency * The Law of the Excluded Middle * Hilbert's omega-Rule * An Algorithmic omega-Rule * Gentzen's Rule of Infinite Induction * Rosser's Rule C * Markov's Principle * The Church-Turing Thesis * Aristotle's particularisation * Wittgenstein's perspective of constructive mathematics * An evidence-based perspective of quantification. By showing how these are formally inter-related, we highlight the fragility of both the persisting, theistic, classical/Platonic interpretation of quantification grounded in Hilbert's epsilon-calculus; and the persisting, atheistic, constructive/Intuitionistic interpretation of quantification rooted in Brouwer's belief that the Law of the Excluded Middle is non-finitary. We then consider some consequences for mathematics, mathematics education, philosophy, and the natural sciences, of an agnostic, evidence-based, finitary interpretation of quantification that challenges classical paradigms in all these disciplines. (shrink)
Thirteen meanings of 'implication' are described and compared. Among them are relations that have been called: logical implication, material implication,deductive implication, formal implication, enthymemic implication, and factual implication. In a given context, implication is the homogeneous two-place relation expressed by the relation verb 'implies'. For heuristic and expository reasons this article skirts many crucial issues including use-mention, the nature of the entities that imply and are implied, and the processes by which knowledge of these relations are achieved. This paper is (...) better thought of as an early stage of a dialogue than as a definitive treatise. (shrink)
Self-consciousness constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to functionalism. Either the standard functional definitions of mental relations wrongly require the contents of self-consciousness to be propositions involving “realizations” rather than mental properties and relations themselves. Or else these definitions are circular. The only way to save functional definitions is to expunge the standard functionalist requirement that mental properties be second-order and to accept that they are first-order. But even the resulting “ideological” functionalism, which aims only at conceptual clarification, fails unless it incorporates (...) the thesis that the mental properties are fully “natural” universals. Accordingly, mental properties are sui generis: first-order, nonphysical, natural universals. (shrink)
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