more from Thomas Mautner

Single Idea 6890

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 1. Quantification]

Full Idea

In formal logic, quantifiers are operators that turn an open sentence into a sentence to which a truth-value can be assigned.


An 'open sentence' is one with a free variable, like a general formula in physics

Gist of Idea

Quantifiers turn an open sentence into one to which a truth-value can be assigned


Thomas Mautner (Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy [1996], p.464)

Book Reference

Mautner,Thomas: 'Dictionary of Philosophy' [Penguin 1997], p.464

A Reaction

The standard quantifiers are 'all' and 'at least one'. The controversy is whether quantifiers actually assert existence, or whether (as McGinn says) they merely specify the subject matter of the sentence. I prefer the latter.