Logical constants

Mind (2008)
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Abstract

Logic is usually thought to concern itself only with features that sentences and arguments possess in virtue of their logical structures or forms. The logical form of a sentence or argument is determined by its syntactic or semantic structure and by the placement of certain expressions called “logical constants.”[1] Thus, for example, the sentences Every boy loves some girl. and Some boy loves every girl. are thought to differ in logical form, even though they share a common syntactic and semantic structure, because they differ in the placement of the logical constants “every” and “some”. By contrast, the sentences Every girl loves some boy. and Every boy loves some girl. are thought to have the same logical form, because “girl” and “boy” are not logical constants. Thus, in order to settle questions about logical form, and ultimately about which arguments are logically valid and which sentences logically true, we must distinguish the “logical constants” of a language from its nonlogical expressions

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John MacFarlane
University of California, Berkeley

References found in this work

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After virtue: a study in moral theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1981 - Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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