Chapter

Formal Ontology and Logical Syntax

E. J. Lowe

in The Four-Category Ontology

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780199254392
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603600 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199254397.003.0004
 Formal Ontology and Logical Syntax

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Traditional formal logic as developed by Fred Sommers is compared and contrasted with the modern quantified predicate logic that we owe to Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell; the latter is argued to be implicitly committed to a two-category ontology of particulars and universals. A system of sortal logic is described, which exhibits some features of traditional formal logic and some of modern quantified predicate logic, such as its deployment of a symbol for identity. It is argued that this system represents more perspicuously than other systems the ontological distinctions of the four-category ontology, and that this counts as a distinct advantage in its favour.

Keywords: categories; Gottlob Frege; identity; ontology; quantified predicate logic; Bertrand Russell; sortal logic; Fred Sommers; traditional formal logic

Chapter.  6788 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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