Ideas of JC Beall / G Restall, by Theme

[Australian, fl. 2005, Professors at the Universities of Connecticut and Melbourne]

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3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 1. Truth
Some truths have true negations
     Full Idea: Dialetheism is the view that some truths have true negations.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 7.4)
     A reaction: The important thing to remember is that they are truths. Thus 'Are you feeling happy?' might be answered 'Yes and no'.
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / b. Objects make truths
A truthmaker is an object which entails a sentence
     Full Idea: The truthmaker thesis is that an object is a truthmaker for a sentence if and only if its existence entails the sentence.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 5.5.3)
     A reaction: The use of the word 'object' here is even odder than usual, and invites many questions. And the 'only if' seems peculiar, since all sorts of things can make a sentence true. 'There is someone in the house' for example.
4. Formal Logic / A. Syllogistic Logic / 2. Syllogistic Logic
'Equivocation' is when terms do not mean the same thing in premises and conclusion
     Full Idea: 'Equivocation' is when the terms do not mean the same thing in the premises and in the conclusion.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Consequence [2005], Intro)
4. Formal Logic / E. Nonclassical Logics / 2. Intuitionist Logic
(∀x)(A v B) |- (∀x)A v (∃x)B) is valid in classical logic but invalid intuitionistically
     Full Idea: The inference of 'distribution' (∀x)(A v B) |- (∀x)A v (∃x)B) is valid in classical logic but invalid intuitionistically. It is straightforward to construct a 'stage' at which the LHS is true but the RHS is not.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 6.1.2)
     A reaction: This seems to parallel the iterative notion in set theory, that you must construct your hierarchy. All part of the general 'constructivist' approach to things. Is some kind of mad platonism the only alternative?
4. Formal Logic / E. Nonclassical Logics / 5. Relevant Logic
Excluded middle must be true for some situation, not for all situations
     Full Idea: Relevant logic endorses excluded middle, ..but says instances of the law may fail. Bv¬B is true in every situation that settles the matter of B. It is necessary that there is some such situation.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 5.2)
     A reaction: See next idea for the unusual view of necessity on which this rests. It seems easier to assert something about all situations than just about 'some' situation.
It's 'relevantly' valid if all those situations make it true
     Full Idea: The argument from P to A is 'relevantly' valid if and only if, for every situation in which each premise in P is true, so is A.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 5.2)
     A reaction: I like the idea that proper inference should have an element of relevance to it. A falsehood may allow all sorts of things, without actually implying them. 'Situations' sound promising here.
Relevant logic does not abandon classical logic
     Full Idea: We have not abandoned classical logic in our acceptance of relevant logic.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 5.4)
     A reaction: It appears that classical logic is straightforwardly accepted, but there is a difference of opinion over when it is applicable.
Relevant consequence says invalidity is the conclusion not being 'in' the premises
     Full Idea: Relevant consequence says the conclusion of a relevantly invalid argument is not 'carried in' the premises - it does not follow from the premises.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 5.3.3)
     A reaction: I find this appealing. It need not invalidate classical logic. It is just a tougher criterion which is introduced when you want to do 'proper' reasoning, instead of just playing games with formal systems.
A doesn't imply A - that would be circular
     Full Idea: We could reject the inference from A to itself (on grounds of circularity).
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 8)
     A reaction: [Martin-Meyer System] 'It's raining today'. 'Are you implying that it is raining today?' 'No, I'm SAYING it's raining today'. Logicians don't seem to understand the word 'implication'. Logic should capture how we reason. Nice proposal.
Relevant logic may reject transitivity
     Full Idea: Some relevant logics reject transitivity, but we defend the classical view.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 8)
     A reaction: [they cite Neil Tennant for this view] To reject transitivity (A?B ? B?C ? A?C) certainly seems a long way from classical logic. But in everyday inference Tennant's idea seems good. The first premise may be irrelevant to the final conclusion.
4. Formal Logic / E. Nonclassical Logics / 6. Free Logic
Free logic terms aren't existential; classical is non-empty, with referring names
     Full Idea: A logic is 'free' to the degree it refrains from existential import of its singular and general terms. Classical logic must have non-empty domain, and each name must denote in the domain.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 7.1)
     A reaction: My intuition is that logic should have no ontology at all, so I like the sound of 'free' logic. We can't say 'Pegasus does not exist', and then reason about Pegasus just like any other horse.
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 1. Overview of Logic
Logic studies consequence; logical truths are consequences of everything, or nothing
     Full Idea: Nowadays we think of the consequence relation itself as the primary subject of logic, and view logical truths as degenerate instances of this relation. Logical truths follow from any set of assumptions, or from no assumptions at all.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 2.2)
     A reaction: This seems exactly right; the alternative is the study of necessities, but that may not involve logic.
Syllogisms are only logic when they use variables, and not concrete terms
     Full Idea: According to the Peripatetics (Aristotelians), only syllogistic laws stated in variables belong to logic, and not their applications to concrete terms.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 2.5)
     A reaction: [from Lukasiewicz] Seems wrong. I take it there are logical relations between concrete things, and the variables are merely used to describe these relations. Variables lack the internal powers to drive logical necessities. Variables lack essence!
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 2. History of Logic
The view of logic as knowing a body of truths looks out-of-date
     Full Idea: Through much of the 20th century the conception of logic was inherited from Frege and Russell, as knowledge of a body of logical truths, as arithmetic or geometry was a knowledge of truths. This is odd, and a historical anomaly.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 2.2)
     A reaction: Interesting. I have always taken this idea to be false. I presume logic has minimal subject matter and truths, and preferably none at all.
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 4. Pure Logic
Formal logic is invariant under permutations, or devoid of content, or gives the norms for thought
     Full Idea: Logic is purely formal either when it is invariant under permutation of object (Tarski), or when it has totally abstracted away from all contents, or it is the constitutive norms for thought.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Consequence [2005], 2)
     A reaction: [compressed] The third account sounds rather woolly, and the second one sounds like a tricky operation, but the first one sounds clear and decisive, so I vote for Tarski.
Logic studies arguments, not formal languages; this involves interpretations
     Full Idea: Logic does not study formal languages for their own sake, which is formal grammar. Logic evaluates arguments, and primarily considers formal languages as interpreted.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 2.1)
     A reaction: Hodges seems to think logic just studies formal languages. The current idea strikes me as a much more sensible view.
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 8. Logic of Mathematics
The model theory of classical predicate logic is mathematics
     Full Idea: The model theory of classical predicate logic is mathematics if anything is.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 4.2.1)
     A reaction: This is an interesting contrast to the claim of logicism, that mathematics reduces to logic. This idea explains why students of logic are surprised to find themselves involved in mathematics.
5. Theory of Logic / B. Logical Consequence / 2. Types of Consequence
Logical consequence needs either proofs, or absence of counterexamples
     Full Idea: Technical work on logical consequence has either focused on proofs, where validity is the existence of a proof of the conclusions from the premises, or on models, which focus on the absence of counterexamples.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Consequence [2005], 3)
There are several different consequence relations
     Full Idea: We are pluralists about logical consequence because we take there to be a number of different consequence relations, each reflecting different precisifications of the pre-theoretic notion of deductive logical consequence.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 8)
     A reaction: I don't see how you avoid the slippery slope that leads to daft logical rules like Prior's 'tonk' (from which you can infer anything you like). I say that nature imposes logical conquence on us - but don't ask me to prove it.
5. Theory of Logic / B. Logical Consequence / 4. Semantic Consequence |=
Logical consequence is either necessary truth preservation, or preservation based on interpretation
     Full Idea: Two different views of logical consequence are necessary truth-preservation (based on modelling possible worlds; favoured by Realists), or truth-preservation based on the meanings of the logical vocabulary (differing in various models; for Anti-Realists).
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Consequence [2005], 2)
     A reaction: Thus Dummett prefers the second view, because the law of excluded middle is optional. My instincts are with the first one.
A sentence follows from others if they always model it
     Full Idea: The sentence X follows logically from the sentences of the class K if and only if every model of the class K is also a model of the sentence X.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 3.2)
     A reaction: This why the symbol |= is often referred to as 'models'.
5. Theory of Logic / B. Logical Consequence / 8. Material Implication
A step is a 'material consequence' if we need contents as well as form
     Full Idea: A logical step is a 'material consequence' and not a formal one, if we need the contents as well as the structure or form.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Consequence [2005], 2)
5. Theory of Logic / I. Semantics of Logic / 3. Logical Truth
A 'logical truth' (or 'tautology', or 'theorem') follows from empty premises
     Full Idea: If a conclusion follows from an empty collection of premises, it is true by logic alone, and is a 'logical truth' (sometimes a 'tautology'), or, in the proof-centred approach, 'theorems'.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Consequence [2005], 4)
     A reaction: These truths are written as following from the empty set Φ. They are just implications derived from the axioms and the rules.
Logical truth is much more important if mathematics rests on it, as logicism claims
     Full Idea: If mathematical truth reduces to logical truth then it is important what counts as logically true, …but if logicism is not a going concern, then the body of purely logical truths will be less interesting.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 2.2)
     A reaction: Logicism would only be one motivation for pursuing logical truths. Maybe my new 'Necessitism' will derive the Peano Axioms from broad necessary truths, rather than from logic.
5. Theory of Logic / J. Model Theory in Logic / 1. Logical Models
Models are mathematical structures which interpret the non-logical primitives
     Full Idea: Models are abstract mathematical structures that provide possible interpretations for each of the non-logical primitives in a formal language.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Consequence [2005], 3)
5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 6. Paradoxes in Language / d. The Preface paradox
Preface Paradox affirms and denies the conjunction of propositions in the book
     Full Idea: The Paradox of the Preface is an apology, that you are committed to each proposition in the book, but admit that collectively they probably contain a mistake. There is a contradiction, of affirming and denying the conjunction of propositions.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 2.4)
     A reaction: This seems similar to the Lottery Paradox - its inverse perhaps. Affirm all and then deny one, or deny all and then affirm one?
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 2. Proof in Mathematics
Hilbert proofs have simple rules and complex axioms, and natural deduction is the opposite
     Full Idea: There are many proof-systems, the main being Hilbert proofs (with simple rules and complex axioms), or natural deduction systems (with few axioms and many rules, and the rules constitute the meaning of the connectives).
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Consequence [2005], 3)
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 3. Types of Necessity
Relevant necessity is always true for some situation (not all situations)
     Full Idea: In relevant logic, the necessary truths are not those which are true in every situation; rather, they are those for which it is necessary that there is a situation making them true.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 5.2)
     A reaction: This seems to rest on the truthmaker view of such things, which I find quite attractive (despite Merricks's assault). Always ask what is making some truth necessary. This leads you to essences.
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 6. Judgement / a. Nature of Judgement
Judgement is always predicating a property of a subject
     Full Idea: All judgement, for Kant, is essentially the predication of some property to some subject.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 2.5)
     A reaction: Presumably the denial of a predicate could be a judgement, or the affirmation of ambiguous predicates?
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 8. Possible Worlds Semantics
We can rest truth-conditions on situations, rather than on possible worlds
     Full Idea: Situation semantics is a variation of the truth-conditional approach, taking the salient unit of analysis not to be the possible world, or some complete consistent index, but rather the more modest 'situation'.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 5.5.4)
     A reaction: When I read Davidson (and implicitly Frege) this is what I always assumed was meant. The idea that worlds are meant has crept in to give truth conditions for modal statements. Hence situation semantics must cover modality.
19. Language / D. Propositions / 1. Propositions
Propositions commit to content, and not to any way of spelling it out
     Full Idea: Our talk of propositions expresses commitment to the general notion of content, without a commitment to any particular way of spelling this out.
     From: JC Beall / G Restall (Logical Pluralism [2006], 2.1)
     A reaction: As a fan of propositions I like this. It leaves open the question of whether the content belongs to the mind or the language. Animals entertain propositions, say I.