Download PDF by Laurence R. Horn: A Natural History of Negation

By Laurence R. Horn

ISBN-10: 1575863367

ISBN-13: 9781575863368

This ebook deals a different synthesis of earlier and present paintings at the constitution, that means, and use of negation and unfavourable expressions, a subject that has engaged thinkers from Aristotle and the Buddha to Freud and Chomsky. Horn's masterful learn melds a evaluation of scholarship in philosophy, psychology, and linguistics with unique learn, offering a whole photograph of negation in common language and notion; this re-creation provides a finished preface and bibliography, surveying study because the book's unique ebook.

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From the monasteries of the medieval period to the academic corridors of our own, the debate has raged on over the relative priority of the term logic and categorical syllogisms of Aristotle vs. the propositional logic and hypothetical syllogisms of the Stoics. One contemporary philosopher has no trouble reaching a verdict: 'We know today that propositional logic is logically prior to the logic of terms' (Lukasiewicz 1934:79). The twovalued logic of propositions, 'founded by the Stoics, carried on by the Scholastics, and axiomatized by Frege' (1934: 87) has indeed carried the field, as Lukasiewicz points out.

Fs are G) is vacuously true if there are no Fs, as is the universal negative. h~ latter position is unarguable, at least when the E proposition is given in ItS 1Ocorporated form (No unicorns are equine). The former claim, however, has often struck critics as a reductio of the proposal that the predicate calculus can adequately model natural language semantics. Do we really want to count All unicorns are equine as true? And as true because of the fact that no unicorns exist? n Wlt~ the logical form of (23A) does not entail the corresponding propoSitIOn With the form of (231): if nothing satisfies F, the former is true and the latter false.

B. It is not-white. (13') a. He {can/is able to} walk. b. He {can/is able to} not-walk. But (13'b) is clearly not the (contradictory) negation of (13'a), since if it were, 'capacity to walk and incapacity to walk wiII belong at the same time to the same person', given that 'the same man can both walk and not walk', 17 whereas the definition of contradictory opposition requires that 'an affirmation and a denial which are opposed to one another do not belong at the same time to the same thing'. Given his stipulated correspondence between the two pairs above, Aristotle concludes that (13a, b), like (13'a, b), cannot be contradictory opposites.

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A Natural History of Negation by Laurence R. Horn


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