Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Tarski on truth and logical consequence

  • John Etchemendy (a1)

Extract

Tarski's writings on the concepts of truth and logical consequence rank among the most influential works in both logic and philosophy of the twentieth century. Because of this, it would be impossible to give a careful and accurate account of how far that influence reaches and of the complex route by which it spread. In logic, Tarski's methods of defining satisfaction and truth, as well as his work pioneering general model-theoretic techniques, have been entirely absorbed into the way the subject is presently done; they have become part of the fabric of contemporary logic, material presented in the initial pages of every modern textbook on the subject. In philosophy, the influence has been equally pervasive, extending not only to work in semantics and the philosophies of logic and language, but to less obviously allied areas such as epistemology and the philosophy of science as well.

Rather than try to chart the wide-ranging influence of these writings or catalog the important research they have inspired, I will concentrate on various confusions and misunderstandings that continue to surround this work. For in spite of the extensive attention the work has received in the past fifty years, especially in the philosophical literature, misunderstandings of both conceptual and historical sorts are still remarkably widespread. Indeed in the philosophical community, recent reactions to Tarski's work on truth range from Karl Popper's “intense joy and relief” at Tarski's “legitimation” of the notion [1974, p. 399], to Hilary Putnam's assessment that “as a philosophical account of truth, Tarski's theory fails as badly as it is possible for an account to fail” [1985, p. 64]. Opinions have not exactly converged.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Bernays, Paul [1922] Review of a paper by Behmann, Jahrbuch über die Fortschritte der Mathematik, vol. 48, pp. 11191120.
Davidson, Donald [1967] Truth and meaning, Synthese, vol. 17, pp. 304323.
Etchemendy, John [1982] Tarski, model theory and logical truth, University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Etchemendy, John [1983] The doctrine of logic as form, Linguistics and Philosophy, vol. 6, pp. 319334.
Feferman, Solomon [1984] Kurt Gödel: conviction and caution, Philosophia Naturalis, vol. 21, pp. 546562.
Field, Hartry [1972] Tarski's theory of truth, Journal of Philosophy, vol. 69, pp. 347375.
Gödel, Kurt [1929] Über die Vollständigkeit des Logikkalküls, Doctoral dissertation, University of Vienna; reprinted, with translation, in Godel [1986].
Gödel, Kurt [1930] Die Vollständigkeit der Axiome des logischen Funktionenkalküls, Monatshefte für Mathematik und Physik, vol. 37, pp. 349360; reprinted, with translation, in Gödel [1986].
Gödel, Kurt [1930a] Über die Vollständigkeit des Logikkalküls (Abstract), Die Naturwissenschaften, vol. 18, p. 1068; reprinted, with translation, in Gödel [1986].
Gödel, Kurt [1986] Collected works. Vol. I, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1986.
Henkin, Leon [1949] The completeness of the first-order functional calculus, this Journal, vol. 14, pp. 159166.
Hilbert, David [1929] Prohleme der Grundlegung der Mathematik, Mathematische Annalen, vol. 102, pp. 19.
Hilbert, David and Ackermann, Wilhelm [1928] Grundzüge der theoretischen Logik, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1928 (2nd ed., 1938; translated in [1950]).
Hilbert, David and Ackermann, Wilhelm [1950] Principles of mathematical logic, Chelsea, New York.
Kemeny, John [1948] Models of logical systems, this Journal, vol. 13, pp. 1630.
Kripke, Saul [1975] Outline of a theory of truth, Journal of Philosophy, vol. 72, pp. 690716.
Luschei, Eugene [1962] The logical systems of Leśniewski, North-Holland, Amsterdam.
Popper, Karl [1974] Some philosophical comments on Tarski's theory of truth, Proceedings of the Tarski symposium, Proceedings of Symposia in Pure Mathematics, vol. 25, American Mathematical Society, Providence, Rhode Island, pp. 397409.
Prawitz, Dag [1965] Natural deduction: a proof-theoretical study, Almqvist & Wiksell, Stockholm.
Putnam, Hilary [1985] A comparison of something with something else, New Literary History, vol. 17, pp. 6179.
Quine, Willard Van Orman [1985] The time of my life, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Schilpp, Paul (editor) [1963] The philosophy of Rudolf Carnap, Open Court Press, La Salle, Illinois.
Soames, Scott [1984] What is a theory of truth?, Journal of Philosophy, vol. 81, pp. 411429.
Suppes, Patrick [1988] Philosophical implications of Tarski's work, this Journal, vol. 53, pp. 8091.
Vaught, Robert [1986] Alfred Tarski's work in model theory, this Journal, vol. 51, pp. 869882.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed