The Dennes Room

Event Detail

Wed Sep 8, 2010
Dennes Room, 6–8 PM
Working Group in the History and Philosophy of Logic, Mathematics, and Science
Daniel Rothschild (All Souls College - Oxford)
Dynamics of the Connectives

We note that there are certain uses of both ‘and’ and ‘or’ that cannot be explained on their normal truth-table meanings (even when supplemented with sophisticated pragmatic tools).  These include examples such as the following:

  1. Laurent shows up and a fight will break out. = If Laurent shows up then a fight will break out.
  2. John is away or his car would be here. = John is away.  If he were not away, then his car would be here.

To explain these uses we give an analysis of what we call the `dynamic’ effects of connectives, which arise even when they have their normal truth-table meaning.  We argue that the special uses in 1) and 2) are instances where the connectives have just their dynamic effects without having their truth-table meaning. (This is joint work with Nathan Klinedinst.)