[hist-analytic] Carnap and Grice on "logical"
Roger Bishop Jones
rbj at rbjones.com
Sun Mar 7 16:28:01 EST 2010
On Friday 05 Mar 2010 17:26, Jlsperanza at aol.com wrote:
> Thanks v. much for the explanation. I guess I won't be
> using 'logical constant' for a while.
I hope you don't take me to be prescribing how you should
use that term.
It was my intention to clarify my own usage and connect it
with some of the other usage with which I am familiar, and
in particular with what was said by some important players
in the run-up to Carnap's (purely verbal) shift from using
L- to A- concepts.
The more general usage which yours exemplifies is just as
well represented (if not better), but since you questioned
my observation about first order logic, I sought to connect
it with the usage of mathematical logicians in that context.
> Grice does speak
> of 'device' in various contexts:
> They seem to be "logical devices" but he just says
> "formal devices" in WoW:ii, first page.
> and he has both the turth-functors (monadic, -; dyadic:
> &,v, ->) and the three quantifiers ((x), (Ex) and
> (ix)). This gives the list as comprising, let's see
> _seven_ formal devices. He does not mean to be complete,
> because his point is about "some of the formal
> devices". And he is not into the mathematic, as you
> say, first-order predicate-calculus (we agree there
> that's the stuff of mathematics) BUT of what he calls,
> vaguely, 'philosophical logic' (as opposed to
> 'philosophy of logic'). I think Grice and Strawson were
> in this informal campaign of highering the status of
> what they were doing, from "philosophy of logic" --
> where they would be philosophers doing logic -- to
> "philosophical logic" where they would be logicians
Not convinced that that is the correct delineation.
"Philosophy of logic" surely must be philosophy, whereas
"philosophical logic" must be a kind of logic; doesn't that
jump out from the grammar??
> Matter of style -- Similarly, he saw
> himself as a philosophical psychologist, rather than as
> a philosopher of mind.
That's interesting. An expansion would be too.
But don't we get a similar problem.
Surely Grice should be a philosopher of psychology, and a
philosophical psychologist someone approaching the similar
problems from the opposite direction?
> I agree with you that 'logical' should be given a higher
> status and that it cannot be dependent on the choice of
> a linguistic framework like that. And so I see very
> well Carnap's point in changing from "L" to "A".
I think you may have mistaken me there.
I think also that I put myself badly.
I did intend firstly to opine that Carnap's change was a
purely verbal concession and did not reflect his agreement
with Quine and Tarski on the use of the term "Logical".
Second when talking about whether Logical Truth is language
dependent, we have to bear in mind that it must be in one
sense, that it depends upon the semantics of the language
which sentences of the language express logical truths (just
as in the case of analyticity).
However, in the case of analytic, once one has the truth
conditions, one needs no further information to determine
analyticity. But if logical truth is taken to be narrower,
then you do need something extra to determine logical truth.
You have to have the truth conditional semantics split into
two parts just for this purpose, and this is quite
> It seems authors who have spoken of the 'logical
> constants' have confused the things.
I don't know that I would say that myself.
I think it is legitimate to use "logical constant" just to
refer to certain features of language, and the distinction
which is captured by a narrower usage may not be relevant to
what they are saying.
It is arguably not relevant to the description of logical
truth in these narrow senses, since whether the sentential
constructors of first order logic are constants or not is
immaterial to this point, one needs their semantics to be
taken into account (in determining logical truth).
On the other hand, though legitimate, it is a hostage to
fortune because of the narrower usages, and another term
might be less likely to result in confusion.
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