Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Predication, Necessity, Truth

Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Predication, Necessity, Truth

Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Predication, Necessity, Truth

Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Predication, Necessity, Truth


'There is much food for thought in McGinn's discussions and each chapter is rich with a series of considerations for thinking that the currently received views on the various topics have some serious difficulties that need confronting... For those interested in metaphysics and the philosophy of logic, this book will stimulate much further thought' -Mind'The sweep of the book is broad and the pace is brisk... There is much material here to provide the basis for many a deep philosophical discussion' -Mind'Lucid and provocative little book... clear, direct and well argued' -Times Higher Education SupplementIdentity, existence, predication, necessity, and truth are fundamental philosophical concerns. Colin McGinn treats them both philosophically and logically, aiming for maximum clarity and minimum pointless formalism. He contends that there are real logical properties that challenge naturalistic metaphysical outlooks. These concepts are not definable, though we can say a good deal about how they work. The aim of Logical Properties is to bring philosophy back to philosophical logic.


The first philosophy course I ever taught was on truth, back in 1974. At that time I was primarily a philosopher of language and logic. In later years I became drawn to topics in the philosophy of mind, as well as metaphysics and epistemology. My interest in philosophical logic went into abeyance for a decade or so. The work in this book was begun about five years ago, though some of the ideas date back to the 1970s and 1980s. For some reason I started thinking seriously about these topics again, and I found that my thoughts on each of them shared some common themes. Thus, after many years of not working on philosophical logic, I decided to put together a short book on the subject.

It has been a pleasure to work on such abstruse, pure, and rigorous topics after spending so much time thinking about messy subjects like consciousness (not to mention evil, beauty of soul, etc.). In philosophical logic it is possible to achieve real results, develop sharp arguments, come to definite conclusions. It has also been a pleasure to write an avowedly specialist book, without having to worry about accessibility to a wider audience.

I have written this book as clearly and economically as I can. I have not burdened the text with detailed discussions of recent literature, preferring to maintain a smooth flow of argument; the footnotes address some of the relevant literature, as well as respond to possible objections.

Philosophical logic is perhaps a less thriving subject than it was in my student days. I think that this is in part because it became too formalistic and divorced from philosophical concerns. The reader will observe that there are very few formulas or symbols in this book, and I have strived constantly to keep the philosophical issues

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