Time and Modality

Time and Modality

Time and Modality

Time and Modality

Excerpt

These lectures are the expression of a conviction that formal logic and general philosophy have more to bring to one another than is sometimes supposed. I do not mean by saying this to underrate the work of those who have explored the properties of symbolic calculi without any concern as to what they might be used to mean. On the contrary, I have drawn heavily upon their results (especially those of the late Professor McKinsey and his school); I have been glad to have given occasion for some further work of the same kind; and I have even (especially in Appendixes B and C) tried my hand at it a little myself. Nor do I mean to underrate what recent philosophers have done in the way of exploring the obstinate and intricate 'logic' embedded in common discourse, even when they have not derived or sought to derive anything like a calculus from it. I have my indebtednesses on this side too (I think here especially of some conversations with Professor Ryle during his New Zealand visit of 1954). But these two activities are, or can be, related to one another very much as theory and observation are in the physical sciences; and I must confess to a hankering after wellconstructed theories which much contemporary philosophy fails to satisfy. Certainly we have a duty to notice that facts X and Y do not fit into such-and-such a formal logician's strait-jacket (it may be Aristotle's, or it may be Russell's or Quine's), but we should not neglect either to hunt for some better-fitting clothing for them, especially since the formal logician's shop is now so much more variously stocked. I am very conscious, though, that in the last two or three of these lectures, when I arrive at the most difficult reaches of my main subject, I have myself done little more than turn the ground over once or twice.

I should like to thank the University of Oxford for asking me to give these lectures; and Dr. Alan Ross Anderson of Yale and Mr E. J. Lemmon of Magdalen College, Oxford, for eliminating some errors. (I have also drawn a little upon the positive results of their investigations into the system Q; but only a little, as I hope they will make most of them known independently.) And while I differed radically from the late . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.