Fri Oct 23, 2015
60 Evans Hall, 4:10–6 PM
Larry Moss (Professor of Mathematics, Indiana University, Bloomington)
Much of modern logic originates in work on the foundations of mathematics. My talk reports on work in logic that has a different goal, the study of inference in language. This study leads to what I will call “natural logic”, the enterprise of studying logical inference in languages that look more like natural language than standard logical systems. An early paper in this field is George Lakoff’s 1970 paper “Linguistics and Natural Logic.”
By now there is a growing body of work which presents logical systems that differ from first-order logic in various ways. Most of the systems are complete and decidable. Some are modern versions of syllogistic logic, but with additional features not present in syllogistic logics. And then there are flavors of logic which look rather far from either traditional or modern logic.
The talk will be programmatic and far-ranging rather than detailed. I hope to touch on computer implementations of natural logics, teaching materials on this topic, and interactions of logic and cognitive science. And keeping with most other talks in the Logic Colloquium, I’ll show that the whole subject of natural logic is full of questions with mathematical interest.