Hence either the present king of france is bald or

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Unformatted text preview: y be tested by its capacity for dealing with puzzles, and it is a wholesome plan, in thinking about logic, to stock the mind with as many puzzles as possible, since these serve much the same purpose as is served by experiments in physical science. I shall therefore state three puzzles, which a theory as to denoting ought to be able to solve; and I shall show later that my theory solves them.” — BERTRAND RUSSELL, “On Denoting” (1905) 1. Bertrand Russell (1872‐1970) in “On Denoting” (1905) posed this puzzles about definite descriptions: how can we explain the logic of definite descriptions in a way that doesn’t violate fundamental logical laws such as the law of excluded middle? By the law of the excluded middle, either `A is Bʹ or `A is not Bʹ must be true. Hence either `the present King of France is baldʹ or `the present King of France is not baldʹ must be true. Yet if we enumerated the things that are bald, and then the things that are not bald, we should not find the present King of France in either list. Hegelians, who love a synthesis, will probably conclude that he wears a wig. 2. Gottlob Frege (1848‐1925) in his “On Sense and Reference” (1892) posed a puzzle about identity: how can we account for informat...
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2011 for the course PHI 330 taught by Professor Mar during the Fall '10 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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