Chapter

The Ground of Logic

Timothy McCarthy

in Radical Interpretation and Indeterminacy

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195145069
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833436 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195145062.003.0004
 The Ground of Logic

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Applies the Conformal Framework to the philosophy of logic, and, in particular, to what McCarthy calls the Interpretation Problem for Logic, i.e. the problem of characterizing the logical devices of a language, as opposed to its descriptive expressions, paradigm examples of which include observational predicates and natural kind terms, on the basis of the data provided by an interpretation of its speakers. An extension of the Conformal Framework is given that facilitates a general solution to the interpretation problem: a logical constant, on McCarthy's account, is an operator whose semantic role is invariant under structure‐preserving transformations defined across situations, which are epistemically possible for the idealized intentional system interpreted. Such a characterization results in a relative determinacy: the interpretations of the logical terms in the intentional system's language are fixed by the role they play in stories describing worlds that are epistemically possible for the system, which in turn is fixed by the system's inductive method.

Keywords: Conformal Framework; descriptive expressions; idealized intentional system; inductive method; interpretation; interpretation problem for logic; language; logical constant; operator; philosophy of logic; relative determinacy; semantic role

Chapter.  29967 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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