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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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The First Myth of ‘Or’

The First Myth of ‘Or’

(p.43) Chapter 3 The First Myth of ‘Or’
The Genealogy of Disjunction

R. E. Jennings

Oxford University Press

This chapter talks about how philosophers define and use the word ‘or’ and how the word ‘or’ has undergone changes in modification. The notion of logical form does not apply straightforwardly to sentences of natural language. A sentence has no logical form independently of a specification of a formal language of representation. There is a sense in which the whole meaning of the inclusive “or” is only part of the meaning of the exclusive “or”. According to Boole's Rule, and-lists of general terms represent unions in the subject place; or-lists of general terms represent unions in the predicate place. A unified semantic account of or, and a uniform semantics of natural language connectives more generally must depend upon an abandonment of both assumptions.

Keywords:   equality, identity, inclusive sense, exclusive sense, nonexclusive sense, Boole's Rule, disjunctions, alternations, metalinguistic negation

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