Academic Commons


Review of Brian McGuinness (ed.), Language, Logic and Formalization of Knowledge [Gaeta, Bibliotheca, 1998]

Varzi, Achille C.

This volume collects the text of a lecture by Michael Dummett, held in Siena, Italy in September 1997, followed by eleven papers from a symposium on "Language, Logic and Formalization of Knowledge: 100 years after Frege and Peano", held immediately thereafter. It is a volume of proceedings and suffers from certain usual limits of such books. Overall, however, the volume contains more than enough interesting material. Dummett’s lecture (‘Meaning and Justification’) is a short but crisp presentation of his views on the theory of meaning. The first part reviews Dummett’s criticisms of truth-conditional theories and outlines the motivations for a justificationist account: to understand a sentence is not to know that something must be the case in order for an utterance of that sentence to be true; it is to know how to use the sentence, how to recognize evidence for it, how to act on the truth of it. Dummett’s lecture is designed as a proem to the symposium, so the emphasis is on Frege’s version of truth-conditionalism rather than on Davidson’s. And Dummett insists on one thesis in particular, namely, that what blocked Frege from coming up with a justificationist theory of meaning of the right sort was “his unshakable commitment to the principle of bivalence as governing a scientific language”.



  • thumnail for StudiaLogica_Review__2001.pdf StudiaLogica_Review__2001.pdf application/pdf 11.2 KB Download File

Also Published In

Studia Logica

More About This Work

Academic Units
Published Here
December 3, 2014
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.