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Elementary Categorial Logic, Predicates of Variable Degree, and Theory of Quantity

Brent Mundy
Journal of Philosophical Logic
Vol. 18, No. 2 (May, 1989), pp. 115-140
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30226408
Page Count: 26
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Elementary Categorial Logic, Predicates of Variable Degree, and Theory of Quantity
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Abstract

Developing some suggestions of Ramsey (1925), elementary logic is formulated with respect to an arbitrary categorial system rather than the categorial system of Logical Atomism which is retained in standard elementary logic. Among the many types of non-standard categorial systems allowed by this formalism, it is argued that elementary logic with predicates of variable degree occupies a distinguished position, both for formal reasons and because of its potential value for application of formal logic to natural language and natural science. This is illustrated by use of such a logic to construct a theory of quantity which is argued to be scientifically superior to existing theories of quantity based on standard categorial systems, since it yields real-valued scales without the need for unrealistic existence assumptions. This provides empirical evidence for the hypothesis that the categorial structure of the physical world itself is non-standard in this sense.

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