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The Four-Category OntologyA Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science$
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E. J. Lowe

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199254392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199254397.001.0001

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Formal Ontology and Logical Syntax

Formal Ontology and Logical Syntax

Chapter:
(p.52) 4 Formal Ontology and Logical Syntax
Source:
The Four-Category Ontology
Author(s):

E. J. Lowe (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199254397.003.0004

Traditional formal logic as developed by Fred Sommers is compared and contrasted with the modern quantified predicate logic that we owe to Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell; the latter is argued to be implicitly committed to a two-category ontology of particulars and universals. A system of sortal logic is described, which exhibits some features of traditional formal logic and some of modern quantified predicate logic, such as its deployment of a symbol for identity. It is argued that this system represents more perspicuously than other systems the ontological distinctions of the four-category ontology, and that this counts as a distinct advantage in its favour.

Keywords:   categories, Gottlob Frege, identity, ontology, quantified predicate logic, Bertrand Russell, sortal logic, Fred Sommers, traditional formal logic

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