Abstract

This paper considers various objections to Carnap’s logical syntax definition of ’logical expression’, including those by Saunders Mac Lane and W. V. O. Quine. While the specific objections of these two authors can be answered, if necessary by a slight modification of Carnap’s definition, there are other objections that I do not see how to meet. I also consider the proposal by Denis Bonnay for avoiding the objections to Carnap’s definition. In light of the unresolved problems with Carnap’s definition, I go on to consider what Carnap’s assumptions must have been in framing his definition and to assess how much damage is caused by this failure of Carnap’s definition. This damage is not as much as might be assumed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-96
Number of pages18
JournalSynthese
Volume194
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Analytic
  • Bonnay
  • Carnap
  • Logical expression
  • Mac Lane
  • Quine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences(all)

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