Two Treatments of Definite Descriptions in Intuitionist Negative Free Logic


  • Nils Kürbis Department of Logic and Methodology of Science, University of Lodz, Poland



definite descriptions, binary quantifier, term forming operator, Lambert's Law, intuitionist negative free logic, natural deduction


Sentences containing definite descriptions, expressions of the form `The F', can be formalised using a binary quantier that forms a formula out of two predicates, where ℩x[F;G] is read as `The F is G'. This is an innovation over the usual formalisation of definite descriptions with a term forming operator. The present paper compares the two approaches. After a brief overview of the system INFof intuitionist negative free logic extended by such a quantier, which was presented in [4], INF is first compared to a system of Tennant's and an axiomatic treatment of a term forming ℩ operator within intuitionist negative free logic. Both systems are shown to be equivalent to the subsystem of INF in which the G of ℩x[F;G] is restricted to identity. INF is then compared to an intuitionist version of a system of Lambert's which in addition to the term forming operator has an operator for predicate abstraction for indicating scope distinctions. The two systems will be shown to be equivalent through a translation between their respective languages. Advantages of the present approach over the alternatives are indicated in the discussion.


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How to Cite

Kürbis, N. (2019). Two Treatments of Definite Descriptions in Intuitionist Negative Free Logic. Bulletin of the Section of Logic, 48(4), 299–317.



Research Article