A plea for logical objects

Synthese 167 (1):163-182 (2009)

Abstract

An account of validity that makes what is invalid conditional on how many individuals there are is what I call a conditional account of validity. Here I defend conditional accounts against a criticism derived from Etchemendy’s well-known criticism of the model-theoretic analysis of validity. The criticism is essentially that knowledge of the size of the universe is non-logical and so by making knowledge of the extension of validity depend on knowledge of how many individuals there are, conditional accounts fail to reflect that the former knowledge is basic, i.e., independent of knowledge derived from other sciences. Appealing to Russell’s pre-Principia logic, I defend conditional accounts against this criticism by sketching a rationale for thinking that there are infinitely many logical objects.

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Matthew W. McKeon
Michigan State University

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