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Beyond Language: Using Logic to Introduce New Philosophical Distinctions

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Philosophy has to be communicable in language, and therefore, whatever it has to say must be expressible in (some) language. But in order to make progress, philosophy has to gradually extend and improve its terminological apparatus. It is argued that logical formalization is a highly useful tool for discovering and confirming distinctions that are not present in ordinary language or in pre-existing philosophical terminology. In particular, it is proposed that if two usages of a word require different logical formalizations, then that is a strong reason to distinguish between them also in informal philosophy. The distinction between two types of normative conditionals, conditional veritable norms and conditional normative rules, is used as an example to corroborate this proposal.


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