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Some Philosophical Issues in Logic and Language

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About the Book Philosophy of logic and philosophy of language are closely interrelated areas of research. Many of the philosophical questions arising from logic cannot be fully addressed without taking into consideration certain issues associated with the concerned language. The philosophical issues, e.g. concerning validity of an argument, proof for the validity of an argument are philosophical problems, which are generated from the study of logic. The book makes it explicit on how certain i...
About the Book

Philosophy of logic and philosophy of language are closely interrelated areas of research. Many of the philosophical questions arising from logic cannot be fully addressed without taking into consideration certain issues associated with the concerned language. The philosophical issues, e.g. concerning validity of an argument, proof for the validity of an argument are philosophical problems, which are generated from the study of logic.

The book makes it explicit on how certain important philosophical questions generated from logic are, in the ultimate analysis, rooted in the area of philosophy of language. It also suggests certain means of settling these issues of philosophy of logic. In addition to certain issues in philosophy of logic the book extensively deals with certain issues in philosophy of language such as the issue concerning holism, semantic inferentialism, realism, objectivity of statements and representationalism.

Those who are engaged in advanced research in philosophy of language and philosophy of logic will benefit immensely from reading this book. It will also be of great use to the students of philosophy and to the general readers as well.

About the Author

Sadhan Chakraborti, Professor of Philosophy at Jadavpur University, India is deeply engaged in research in the areas of philosophy of logic, philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. He has written extensively in reputed journals and edited volumes on the philosophical issue of realism and on many philosophical issues relating to semantics of language. Some of the books and anthologies to his credit are Realism and Its Alternatives: Some Contemporary Issues, Belief and Meaning: An Exploration of the Indian Psyche (edited), Mind and Language (edited) and Ethical Issues in Mental Health Services (edited).


The interrelation between logic and language transpires when we delve into some philosophical issues arising from logic or from language. This collection of essays captures some aspects of the interrelation between logic and language. The development of my philosophical thoughts has been reflected in this collection, including those articles written by me at different points of my philosophical trajectory.

Chapter 1 elaborates two versions of triple negation, a logical principle. One version is found in the intuitionistic logic and the other version is found in the Nyaya system, belonging to an Indian philosophical school. Each version of the logical principle is couched in the concerned language. ~~~p<->~p (triple negation) is admitted in the intuitionistic logic as a logical principle. It is also admitted in Navya-Nyaya system. The essay is an expository account of the logical principle of triple negation found in these two systems.

The notion of truth plays a very important role in various aspects of philosophy of language. There are some serious misconceptions about the Dummettian notion of truth and its place in his philosophy of language. The aim of Chapter 2 is to give an authentic account of the Dummettian notion of truth and the role it plays in his philosophy of language.

Chapter 3 aims at examining whether A.J. Ayer is a phenomenalist or not. It is commonly believed that Ayer is a phenomenalist. The essay formulates Ayer's two-tier theory of language, specifically of the language consisting of statements concerning physical objects; clarifies the meaning of phenomenalism and finally shows that it is a wrong supposition that Ayer is a phenomenalist and this is shown in the backdrop of his two-tier theory of language .

Chapter 4 deals with the demarcation of the study concerning what is said and the study concerning what is meant in linguistic communication, if there be any. The former one is usually known as semantics and the latter as pragmatics.

Chapter 5 elaborates Jerry A. Fodor's position in the context of holism-realism debate. Fodor has made an attempt to undermine semantic holism. He has tried to show that the arguments on the basis of which semantic holism has actually been proposed cannot establish it. He proposes an alternative semantics for the intentional states. This essay shows that the whole project of Fodor is ill founded.

The problem of justifying deduction is a perennial one. Chapter 6 gives a sketch of the alternative solutions to the problem of justifying deduction formulated by Michael Dummett. It also includes the solution suggested by Pranab Kumar Sen. It makes a critical estimate of the suggested solutions to the problem by Dummett and Sen. Finally, it shows that the success of any of these competing views depends upon establishing which kind of theory of meaning is a legitimate one.

Chapter 7 states in clear terms what the computational theory of mind is. It is a theory of mind developed by cognitive scientists, who claim to give a scientific account of mental processes that determine human intelligent activities. Learning a language is one of the human intelligent activities. The chapter gives a description of the architecture of mind or cognition, from the perspective of cognitive scientists' computational theory of mind, that regulates human linguistic behaviour.

Chapter 8 addresses the issue of objectivity of mathematical and logic statements in the context of Wittgenstein's philosophy. The issue dealt with here has two components:

i. Deciphering the nuances involved in the concept of objectivity of statements and giving a clearer idea of the objectivity of mathematical and logical statements, and
ii. whether Wittgenstein admits objectivity of mathematical statements. Commentators of Wittgenstein differ on the question whether Wittgenstein was a realist about mathematics and logic or not.

The essay "Wittgenstein on Necessity and Objectivity in Mathematics and Logic" attempts to establish that according to Wittgenstein, logico-mathematical statements are necessary and objective; since Wittgenstein advocates necessity and objectivity of logical and mathematical statements he should be regarded as a realist.

Chapter 9 deals with the Davidson-Dummett controversy over the issue of explaining the meaning of the sentences of a language in terms of truth conditions. The Davidsonian theory of meaning is attacked by Dummett. The essay aims at giving a defence of the Davidsonian truth conditions theory of meaning against the Dummettian attack.

Chapter 10 aims at deciphering the aspects of understanding a person's utterance. It attempts to enumerate the different aspects involved in understanding a language used by a person and for each aspect certain conditions are fulfilled, which makes our understanding of the language of the person possible. It gives an outline of the conditions associated with the hearer's understanding of the speaker's utterance, the fulfilment of which make it possible.

If we say that speakers use language to describe how the world is then one may ask the question what is the relation between a language and the world? A further question that arises from this answer is - how is it possible for a language to represent the world?

An attempt has been made in Chapter 11 to show that the recent neuro-scientific studies provide a ground to the claim that the neural system of humans put the limit to our knowledge of the external world. If this claim is true then the distal theory of linguistic representation cannot stand.

The long tradition of considering the concept of truth as one of the most important subjects of philosophical discussion has been questioned by many philosophers in contemporary philosophical discourse. The reaction ranges from giving truth an improper role to abolishing it from the philosophical arena. Examining some of the reasons behind this range of reactive theses and showing the folly of trying to tarnish truth constitute the aim of Chapter 12.

There are different views regarding the nature of empathy, a process of knowing the mental worlds of others. Some researchers hold that it is a form of analogical thinking. Chapter 13 refutes this view and tries to establish reasoning as a form of abduction.


1Two Faces of Triple Negation1
2Michael Dummett on Truth10
The Informal Reductio Proof16
3Ayer's Two- Tier Theory of Language28
4A Prelude to Pragmatics- Semantics Interface38
5Semantic Holism vs. Intentional Realism An Informational Semanticist's Approach53
6Reflections on the Problem of Justifying Deduction61
Formulation of the Problem61
Alternative Solutions to the Problem62
Proof Theorist's Reply to the Charge of Infinite Regress of Circularity64
Justification of Dummett65
Sen's Justification66
7The Computational Theory of Mind71
What is Cognitive Science?71
The Computational Theory of Mind73
The System of Computational Processes76
The Symbolic Serial Processing System76
8Wittgenstein on Necessity and Objectivity in Mathematics and Logic 82
9Truth, Meaning and Understanding The Dummett- Davidson Controversy97
Meaning and Communication97
Meaning and Understanding98
Davidson's Pro-theory Approach99
Davidson's Truth-theoretic Account of Understanding of Language101
Formal and Empirical Constraints on a Davidsonian Meaning Theory101
Radical Interpretation as the Basis of Davidsonian Meaning Theory102
Belief- Meaning Interlocking102
The Principle of Charity as a Solution to the Problem of Belief- Meaning Interlocking103
Coherence as the Justification for a Davidsonian Meaning Theory104
Dummett's Critique of the Davidson Theory of Meaning105
A Davidsonian Reply to the Dummenttian Critique107
10Language, Communication and Miscommunication110
First Aspect of Understanding111
Davidson's Pro-theory Approach111
Second Aspect of Understanding113
The Pragmatic Apparatus114
Third Aspect of Understanding 116
A Case Excerpt116
Feeling and Emotion120
The Kinesic Apparatus121
Ekman's Neurocultural Account of Emotion121
11Representation, Meaning and Truth125
12The Folly of Trying to Tarnish the Objectivity of Truth141
13On Empathic Reasoning154

Sample Pages

Item Code: NAN035 Author: Sadhan Chakraborti Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2016 Publisher: Suryodaya Books ISBN: 9788192611457 Language: English Size: 9.0 inch x 6.0 inch Pages: 182 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 380 gms
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