meaning postulates

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Rudolf Carnap (1891—1970) German-born American philosopher

W. V. O. Quine (1908—2000) American philosopher and logician


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Term employed by Carnap as a proposed explanation of analyticity. The idea is that we can lay down a logical connection (x is a bachelor → x is not married) as a postulate governing the two predicates ‘bachelor’ and ‘married’; the analyticity that all bachelors are unmarried is then exhibited as a logical consequence of a convention that we have adopted. The approach was attacked by Quine and others, both as presupposing that central or obvious truths achieve the status of conventions when there is no reason for them to do so, and as failing as a general account of necessity since it requires a separate account of the status of logic.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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