The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 5, 2007

Logic and Philosophy of the Sciences

Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia
Pages 45-50

What Does '&' Mean?

Using conjunction as an example, I show a technical and philosophical problem when trying to conciliate the currently prevailing views on the meaning of logical connectives: the inferientialist (also called 'syntactic') one based on introduction and elimination rules, and the representationalist (also called 'semantic') one given through truth tables. Mostly I show that the widespread strategy of using the truth theoretical definition of logical consequence to collapse both definitions must be rejected by inferentialists. An important consequence of my argument is that there are different notions of conjunction at play in standard first order logic, and that the technical and philosophical connections between them are far from well established.