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On the Sense and Reference of a Logical Constant

Harold Hodes
The Philosophical Quarterly (1950-)
Vol. 54, No. 214 (Jan., 2004), pp. 134-165
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3543079
Page Count: 32
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On the Sense and Reference of a Logical Constant
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Abstract

Syntax precedes truth-theoretic semantics when it comes to understanding a logical constant. A constant in a language is logical iff its sense is entirely constituted by certain deductive rules. To be sense-constitutive, deductive rules governing a constant must meet certain conditions; those that do so are sense-constitutive by virtue of understanders' conditional dispositions to feel compelled to accept certain formulae. Acceptance is a cognitive formula-attitude. Since acceptance requires understanding, and a formula can contain more than one occurrence of logical constants, this account involves a 'local holism', but no circularity. I argue that no logical constant is ambiguous between a classical and a constructive sense; but I allow that one constant may have distinct classical and constructive 'semantic values'. A logical constant's sense helps to determine its semantic value, but only together with certain constraints on satisfaction and frustration; it seems that the latter must include 'convention T'-style schemata.

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