Semantics

Download Foundations of Logico-Linguistics: A Unified Theory of by William S. Cooper (auth.) PDF

By William S. Cooper (auth.)

In 1962 a mimeographed sheet of paper fell into my ownership. It have been ready via Ernest Adams of the Philosophy division at Berkeley as a handout for a colloquim. Headed 'SOME FALLACIES OF FORMAL good judgment' it easily indexed 11 little items of reasoning, all in usual English, and all absurd. I nonetheless have the sheet, and quote a few the arguments right here to provide the belief. • in case you throw swap S and turn T, the motor will begin. There­ fore, both when you throw change S the motor will commence, or, for those who throw swap T the motor will begin . • it's not the case that if John passes background he'll graduate. as a result, John will move heritage. The disconcerting factor approximately those inferences is, after all, that less than the universal truth-functional interpretation of and, or, no longer, and if-then, they're purported to be legitimate. What, if something, is incorrect? before everything i used to be now not disturbed via the examples. Having at the moment ponder­ capable own dedication to rationality normally and formal good judgment in par­ ticular, I felt it my accountability and located myself simply capable (or so i presumed) to give an explanation for away such a lot of them. yet in retrospect I needed to admit that my expla­ countries had an advert hoc personality, various suspiciously from instance to example.

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Extra info for Foundations of Logico-Linguistics: A Unified Theory of Information, Language, and Logic

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Q: DO YOU KNOW THAT birds are carnivorous bipeds? A: No. Q: Bipeds are vertebrates. Q: DO YOU KNOW THAT every bird is a vertebrate? A: Yes. Q: Humans are mammals. Q: Mammals are vertebrates. Q: DO YOU KNOW THAT birds are mammals? A: No. In this particular game it would probably be agreed that the Answerer has answered all his questions correctly and so deserves a perfect score. The object of the game from the Questioner's point of view need not concern us. During the course of a What-Do-You-Know?

When a language is of interest, its sentences may be associated with the sentence set of an abstract language automatoD. The idea is to associate INFORMATION AND LANGUAGE 21 particular language automata with particular languages in such a way that the automata reflect the properties of the languages as communication systems. In this way language automata may be used as surrogates for languages in the investigation of linguistic information transfer. For example a language automaton for English would be the object of interest in a study of communication in English.

1. The Detectives' Language. Imagine a little linguistic community composed of a group of detectives working on a murder case. The detectives are scurrying about the house in which the murder took place, gathering evidence and occasionally telling each other their conclusions. There are two principal suspects, Coe and Doe, and the burning issue is: Which of the two (if either) was in the house on the night of the murder? So intent are the detectives on this question that the language in which they are communicating with one another is the fragment of English consisting of just the four sentences Cae was in, Doe was in, Cae was out, and Doe was out.

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