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Vol 23 No 6 June/July 2018

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Bertrand Russell on Modality and Logical Relevance

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Jan DejnozkaUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

ISBN13: 9781840149814
ISBN: 1840149817
Published: April 1999
Publisher: Routledge
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

This is a study of Bertrand Russell on modality and relevance. Russell used notions of ordinary quantificational logic to define and analyze away the basic notions of modal logic. The ordinary individual and universal quantifiers are used to simulate modal notions. Literally speaking, Russell has banished modality from logic, yet functionally speaking, he has achieved an S5 modal logic based on a theory of modality. The author imputes seven S5 logics to Russell and shows that Russell states the key to his modal theory in at least nine works over a period of at least 36 years. The author then explains five modal ""howlers"" which Russell has been accused of, as based on misunderstandings. Russell's modal logic anticipates Carnap, Tarski, McKinsey, Almog and Etchemendy and has predecessors in Bolzano and Venn. The text's interdisciplinary argument involves both legal and philosophical scholarship.

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Propositional functions and possible worlds; Russell's three levels of modality; the ontological foundation; Rescher's case against Russell; the strength of Russell's modal logic; does Russell have a possible worlds logic?; the motives and origins of Russell's theory of modality; Russell's relevance logic; Russell, Keynes and the legal origins of logical relevance.