Quine's 'limits of decision'

Journal of Symbolic Logic 64 (4):1439-1466 (1999)
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In a 1969 paper, Quine coined the term 'limits of decision'. This term evidently refers to limits on the logical vocabulary of a logic, beyond which satisfiability is no longer decidable. In the same paper. Quine showed that not only monadic formulas, but homogeneous k-adic formulas for arbitrary k lie on the decidable side of the limits of decision. But the precise location of the limits of decision has remained an open question. The present paper answers that question. It addresses the question of decidability of those sublogics of first-order logic that are defined in terms of their logical vocabularies. A complete answer is obtained, thus locating exactly Quine's limits of decision.



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The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays.Yehoshua Bar-Hillel - 1967 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 28 (4):596-600.
Methods of Logic.P. L. Heath & Willard Van Orman Quine - 1955 - Philosophical Quarterly 5 (21):376.
Elements of the Theory of Computation.Harry R. Lewis & Christos H. Papadimitriou - 1984 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 49 (3):989-990.
Unsolvable Classes of Quantificational Formulas.Dieter Rödding - 1982 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 47 (1):221-222.
Predicate-functors and the limits of decidability in logic.Aris Noah - 1980 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 21 (4):701-707.

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