Logical Semantics as an Empirical Science

  • Johan Van Benthem
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 29)


Despite a common interest in ‘logical structure’, often pursued with model-theoretic tools, logical semantics and philosophy of science are nowadays disparate subjects. There have been prominent philosophers whose work spans both fields: Carnap, Reichenbach, Quine and Putnam, to mention some resounding names. But even with these, combination does not necessarily mean integration. This lack of contact is somewhat surprising, as several natural bridge topics exist, such as the area of natural laws/counterfactuals/modality or modality/tense/ time. Indeed, the difference between formal semantics of natural language (sentences or texts) and that of scientific theories seems only a gradual one, in the level of ‘logical aggregation’.


Modal Logic Theoretical Term Empirical Science Modal Formula World Semantic 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Van Benthem
    • 1
  1. 1.Mathematics InstituteUniversity of AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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