The Review of Symbolic Logic

Research Article

EXTERNALISM, INTERNALISM, AND LOGICAL TRUTH

CORINE BESSONa1 c1

a1 St Hugh's College, Oxford

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to show what sorts of logics are required by externalist and internalist accounts of the meanings of natural kind nouns. These logics give us a new perspective from which to evaluate the respective positions in the externalist--internalist debate about the meanings of such nouns. The two main claims of the paper are the following: first, that adequate logics for internalism and externalism about natural kind nouns are second-order logics; second, that an internalist second-order logic is a free logic—a second order logic free of existential commitments for natural kind nouns, while an externalist second-order logic is not free of existential commitments for natural kind nouns—it is existentially committed.

(Received October 30 2007)

Correspondence:

c1 ST HUGH'S COLLEGE, OXFORD OX2 6LE, UK, E-mail: corine.besson@philosophy.ox.ac.uk