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Logic and Its Philosophy

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Jan Woleński

This collection of essays examines logic and its philosophy. The author investigates the nature of logic not only by describing its properties but also by showing philosophical applications of logical concepts and structures. He evaluates what logic is and analyzes among other aspects the relations of logic and language, the status of identity, bivalence, proof, truth, constructivism, and metamathematics. With examples concerning the application of logic to philosophy, he also covers semantic loops, the epistemic discourse, the normative discourse, paradoxes, properties of truth, truth-making as well as theology, being and logical determinism. The author concludes with a philosophical reflection on nothingness and its modelling.

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IV. Truth is Eternal if and only if It is Sempiternal

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IVTruth is Eternal if and only if It is Sempiternal

The problem addressed in this paper goes back to Aristotle and his considerations about tomorrow’s sea battle. In a famous passage in De Interpretatione (19a 25–30; after The Works of Aristotle, vol. 1: Categoriae and De Intepretatione, tr. by E. M. Edghill, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1928), the Stagirite says:

   Everything must be either be or not be, whether in the present or in the future, but it is not always possible to distinguish and state determinately which of these alternatives must necessarily come about.

   Let me illustrate. A sea-fight must take place to-morrow or not, but it is not necessary that it either should not take place to-morrow, neither it is necessary that it should not take place, yet it is necessary that it either should or should not take place to-morrow. Since propositions correspond with facts, it is evident that when in future events there is a real alternative, and a potentiality in contrary directions, the corresponding affirmation and denial have the same character.

These words initiated a considerable discussion about the relation between truth and time. Is truth relative and dependent on temporal coordinates, or is it absolute and timeless? The debate concerns several problems, in particular, the validity of some logical principles, fatalism, God’s omniscience, free-will and determinism (see Bernstein 1992, Cahn 1967, Gaskin 1995, Hintikka 1977, Lucas 1989, Prior 1953, Vuellimin 1996). This paper concentrates almost...

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