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The problem of interpreting modal logic

  • W. V. Quine (a1)

There are logicians, myself among them, to whom the ideas of modal logic (e. g. Lewis's) are not intuitively clear until explained in non-modal terms. But so long as modal logic stops short of quantification theory, it is possible (as I shall indicate in §2) to provide somewhat the type of explanation desired. When modal logic is extended (as by Miss Barcan1) to include quantification theory, on the other hand, serious obstarles to interpretation are encountered—particularly if one cares to avoid a curiously idealistic ontology which repudiates material objects. Such are the matters which it is the purpose of the present paper to set forth.

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Alfred Tarski , The semantic conception of truth and the foundation of semantics, Philosophy and phenomenological research, vol. 4 (1914), pp. 341376.

C. I. Lewis , The modes of meaning, Philosophy and phenomenological research, vol. 4 (1943), p. 245.

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The Journal of Symbolic Logic
  • ISSN: 0022-4812
  • EISSN: 1943-5886
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-symbolic-logic
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