UQ Philosophy Seminar: next talk by David Makinson (Friday 10 March, Zoom)

Guillermo Badia guillebadia89 at gmail.com
Fri Mar 3 04:15:00 EST 2023

The Philosophy Seminar of the University of Queensland is pleased to
have a  Zoom  talk by Prof David Makinson  (Queensland) on 10 March at
14:00 PM (Brisbane local time). Everyone is welcome to join! If you’re
interested, please contact Dr Guillermo Badia (g.badia at uq.edu.au) for
the Zoom link. The details of the talk can be found below.

Title: Hamilton’s particles: an exercise in third-order logic

Abstract:  Sir William Hamilton is remembered for his proposal to
extend the four traditional categoricals to eight by applying
quantifying particles to the predicate term as well as to the subject
term, a step that he called 'quantifying the predicate'. Close reading
reveals that he intended the quantified terms to be understood in what
is sometimes called a ‘collective’ rather than a ‘distributive’
manner. De Morgan understood this, expressing the distinction with the
words ‘cumular’ and ‘exemplar’ but, unwilling to tackle the former,
worked on a distributive conception only. Since then, other
commentators have followed in his footsteps, comforted by the fact
that such a perspective translates readily into  the language of
first-order logic. But formal representation of the collective
approach needs more sophisticated resources. The talk shows how it may
be carried out using the language of third-order logic.

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