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Understanding the logical constants and dispositions

Besson, Corine (2009) Understanding the logical constants and dispositions. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5 , pp. 1-24. ISSN 1944-3676.

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Many philosophers claim that understanding a logical constant (e.g. ‘if, then’) fundamentally consists in having dispositions to infer according to the logical rules (e.g. Modus Ponens) that fix its meaning. This paper argues that such dispositionalist accounts give us the wrong picture of what understanding a logical constant consists in. The objection here is that they give an account of understanding a logical constant which is inconsistent with what seem to be adequate manifestations of such understanding. I then outline an alternative account according to which understanding a logical constant is not to be understood dispositionally, but propositionally. I argue that this account is not inconsistent with intuitively correct manifestations of understanding the logical constants.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Corine Besson
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2012 09:05
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33

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