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The Genealogy of Disjunction$
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R. E. Jennings

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195075243

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195075243.001.0001

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What Does Disjunction do?

What Does Disjunction do?

(p.27) Chapter 2 What Does Disjunction do?
The Genealogy of Disjunction

R. E. Jennings

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains the final account of the origins of disjunction. In Russell's account, “or” corresponds to a state of hesitation. ‘In order to express a hesitation in words, we need “or” or some equivalent word’. His suggestion that ‘or’ represents a state of hesitation takes up in altered form a theme of earlier writers having to do with the character of disjunction in individual as contrasted with general propositions. Grice's genetic speculations about ‘or’ are, like Russell's, part of an attempt to say more generally what the logical particles do in language and thus why they came into it. The final account of the origins of disjunction is, a realization of Wittgenstein's aim, and since it will show how the logical uses of ‘or’ have been sponsored by specific non-logical requirements of linguistic practice.

Keywords:   second-order language, metalinguistic, exclusive disjunction, millineric idiom, language, truth-functional, general propositions, postulates of knowledge, Essentials of Logic, hypotheticals

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