PL EN


2010 | 46 | 4 | 519-532
Article title

A Logic-Based Approach to Problems in Pragmatics

Authors
Selected contents from this journal
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
After an exposé of the programme involved, it is shown that the Gricean maxims fail to do their job in so far as they are meant to account for the well-known problem of natural intuitions of logical entailment that deviate from standard modern logic. It is argued that there is no reason why natural logical and ontological intuitions should conform to standard logic, because standard logic is based on mathematics while natural logical and ontological intuitions derive from a cognitive system in people's minds (supported by their brain structures). A proposal is then put forward to try a totally different strategy, via (a) a grammatical reduction of surface sentences to their logico-semantic form and (b) via logic itself, in particular the notion of natural logic, based on a natural ontology and a natural set theory. Since any logical system is fully defined by (a) its ontology and its overarching notions and axioms regarding truth, (b) the meanings of its operators, and (c) the ranges of its variables, logical systems can be devised that deviate from modern logic in any or all of the above respects, as long as they remain consistent. This allows one, as an empirical enterprise, to devise a natural logic, which is as sound as standard logic but corresponds better with natural intuitions. It is hypothesised that at least two varieties of natural logic must be assumed in order to account for natural logical and ontological intuitions, since culture and scholastic education have elevated modern societies to a higher level of functionality and refinement. These two systems correspond, with corrections and additions, to Hamilton's 19th-century logic and to the classic Square of Opposition, respectively. Finally, an evaluation is presented, comparing the empirical success rates of the systems envisaged.
Publisher
Year
Volume
46
Issue
4
Pages
519-532
Physical description
Dates
published
2010-12-01
online
2011-03-30
Contributors
author
  • Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen
References
  • Carnap, R. 1956. Meaning and necessity. A study in semantics and modal logic. (Enlarged edition.) Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Dehaene, S. 1997. The number sense. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Dehaene, S. 2005. "Evolution of human cortical circuits for reading and arithmetic: The ‘neuronal recycling’ hypothesis". In: Dehaene, S., J.-R. Duhamel, M. D. Hauser and G. Rizzolatti (eds.), From monkey brain to human brain. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 133-157.
  • Dehaene, S., V. Izard, P. Pica and E. Spelke. 2006. "Core knowledge of geometry in an Amazonian indigene group". Science 311 (January 2006). 381-384.
  • Geach, P. T. 1962. Reference and generality. An examination of some medieval and modern theories. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  • Hamilton, Sir William. 1866. Lectures on metaphysics and logic. (Vol. IV.) (=Lectures on logic. [Vol. II], 2nd ed., revised.) (Edited by H. L. Mansel and John Veitch.) Edinburgh and London: Blackwood & Sons.
  • Hoeksema, J. 1999. "Blocking effects and polarity sensitivity". In: Gerbrandy, J., M. Marx, M. de Rijke and Y. Venema (eds.), JFAK. Essays dedicated to Johan van Benthem on the occasion of his 50th birthday. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. (Not available in hard copy). <http://www.illc.uva.nl/j50/contribs/hoeksema/hoeksema.pdf>
  • Horn, L. 1972. On the semantic properties of logical operators in English. (Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Southern Califiornia, Los Angeles.)
  • Levinson, S. C. 2000. Presumptive meanings. The theory of generalized conversational implicature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Pica, P., C. Lemer, V. Izard and S. Dehaene. 2004. "Exact and approximate arithmetic in an Amazonian indigene group". Science 306 (October 2004). 499-503.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. 1988. "Presupposition and negation". Journal of Semantics 6(3/4). 175-226.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. 1989. "Notes on reflexivity". In: Heyvaert, F. J. and F. Steurs (eds.), Worlds behind words. Essays in honour of Prof. Dr. F. G. Droste on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. Leuven: Leuven University Press. 85-95.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. 2006. "The natural logic of language and cognition". Pragmatics 16(1). 103-138.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. 2010. The logic of language. (= Language from within [Vol. 2].). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.doi-10_2478_v10010-010-0026-2
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.