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Philosophy and Logic of Predication


Piotr Stalmaszczyk

This book investigates philosophical and formal approaches to predication. The topics discussed include Aristotelian predication, a conceptualist approach to predication, possible formalizations of the notion, Fregean predicates and concepts, and Meinongian predication. The contributions discuss the approaches proposed by Aristotle and Frege, as well as the division of classes into a hierarchy of orders. They reanalyze the traditional notions, and offer new insights into predication theory. This book contributes to contemporary debates on predication and predicates in the philosophy of language.

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On Predication, A Conceptualist View (Nino B. Cocchiarella)


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Nino B. Cocchiarella

Indiana University

On Predication, A Conceptualist View

Abstract: Predication, as the nexus between a subject and a predicate expression, is the basis of the unity of a speech act, including speech acts in the plural and speech acts that involve mass nouns. A speech act, of course, is an overt expression of a mental act, e.g., a judgment; and therefore the unity of a speech act such as an assertion is really the unity of the judgment that underlies that act. Such a mental act, and therefore the speech act as well, has a unity based on how the referential and predicable roles of the subject and predicate expressions combine and function together respectively. What we propose here is to explain this unity of predication in terms of a conceptualist theory of logical forms that we claim underlies at least some important aspects of thought and natural language. Our conceptualist logic also contains an account of the medieval identity (two-name) theory of the copula, as well as an account of plural and mass noun reference and predication, the truth conditions of which are based on a logic of plurals and mass nouns.

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