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3 Language, Truth, and Logic: Heidegger on the Practical and Historical Grounds of Abstract Thought

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the conditions of propositional truth and the predicate calculus through a study of Martin Heidegger's work on Aletheia or unconcealment. Aletheia and unconcealment, for Heidegger, refer to a certain "truth of being" whereby a series of practices create a context or clearing that enables entities and aspects of the world to show up as the subject matter of the discourse. Whilst detailing the derivation of logic from practical activity, the chapter alludes to the temporal horizon that characterizes intelligible human activity. The idea of "logic" disintegrates in the turbulence of original questioning: the questioning of human beings. By illustrating the extent to which the meaning and truth of the most abstract languages depend on the practical activities, Heidegger corrects for a lacunae in Rudolf Carnap's and A.J. Ayer's work by explaining how the reality that is said to verify the empirical propositions is actually given to one.

Keywords: abstract languages; Aletheia; formal logic; Martin Heidegger; propositional truth



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