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Dr. phil Christina Weiss Zeppelin Universität Friedrichshafen Am Seemooser Horn 20, 88045 Friedrichshafen

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Dr. phil Christina Weiss Zeppelin Universität Friedrichshafen Am Seemooser Horn 20, 88045 Friedrichshafen
Dr. phil Christina Weiss
Zeppelin Universität Friedrichshafen
Am Seemooser Horn 20,
88045 Friedrichshafen
Tel: +49 6541 6009-1366
Email: [email protected]
www.researchgate.net/profile/Christina_Weiss
Abstract
Towards a constructive integration of phenomenological and inferentialist concepts of
conceptual content
One of the core insights of inferentialism in the context of general semantics consists in
conceptualizing the meaning of a concept as the relations of inclusion and exclusion which
are actualized by the instantiation of a concept. Robert Brandom in particular emphasizes the
usefulness of expanding the idea of implication and incompatibility respectively, towards the
concept of material implication and incompatibility in general, whereof formal logical
implication and exclusion are just special cases (cf. Brandom 2000, 168; Brandom 2015, 84).
Referring extensively to Frege’s concept of inference, Brandom in this context stresses the
necessity of regarding logical vocabulary as a means of making explicit pre-formal relations
of inference and implication (Brandom 2000, 177).
Talking these theorems of inclusion/exclusion as semantic content on the one side and
formality as explicit token arrangements of pre-formal, proto-logic relations on the other side,
as being highly convincing, two basic groups of questions arise, which this talk seeks to
answer with the help of a distinction based, constructive phenomenological approach:
1. a) How can we conceptualize material implication and exclusion without presupposing
concepts of logical implication or exclusion?1
b) What are basic invariants of these forms of material implication and exclusion?
2. Is it, and in case it is, how is it possible to conceptualize the relationship between the prelogical forms of implication and explicit logical forms as embedded functional aspects of a
pragmatic theory of meaning?
1
This happens if one, for example, refers to Carnap-Hillel’s concept of semantic information, which presupposes
the existence of the rules of propositional logic.
1 Ad 1.) The founding father of modern phenomenology, Edmund Husserl, although he didn’t
consider himself a pragmatist, faced a similar problem as Brandom in formulating his general
semantic theory, his general theory of intentionality: On which grounds do the predicative
forms of logic rest upon? Is there any relation between the predicative, linguistic forms of
logic and more basic forms of intentionality as for example perceptive consciousness, also
participating in the constitution of a meaningful world of distinct objects?
Husserl’s answer was that indeed something like a pre- or proto-logic could be expatiated.
The building blocks of this pre-logic were phenomenological concepts of the constitution of
temporality (protention/retention) and different insights into the modal structure of meaning
constitution (cf. Husserl 1973).
Unfortunately Husserl instead of giving a constructive account of such a pre-logical fragment
of meaning constitution, introduced it with reference to a presumed transcendental
consciousness.
In opposition to this, I want to reformulate the Husserlian ideas concerning a pre-logic with
the help of a theory that takes the operation of distinction, considered as a unity of referring
and expressing, as its starting point. This theory of meaning-emergence out of recursively
applied distinctions is a synthesis of thoughts presented by G.F.W. Hegel, constructive
logicians like Paul Lorenzen or Arend Heyting and epistemological insights into the
importance of regarding distinction as a metaconcept developed by George Spencer-Brown.
Ad 2.) This talk intends to answer the question of the relationship between logical inference
and pre-logical inference with the help of constructivist approaches to logical elements as
presented by Brouwer, Heyting or Lorenzen. It adds to the aforementioned a dialectic,
distinction-based reading of constructivism.
References:
Brandom, R. (2000): Expressive Vernunft (Making it Explicit). Frankfurt a. Main: Suhrkamp.
Brandom, R. (2015): Wiedererinnerter Idealismus. Frankfort a. Main: Suhrkamp.
Brouwer, L.E.J. (1928): Intuitionistische Betrachtungen über den Formalismus. In: Bericht
der Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Math.-Phys. Kl. 1928, pp. 48-52.
Hegel, G.F.W. (1999): Wissenschaft der Logik. Bd. 4. Hamburg: Meiner.
Husserl, E. (1973): Experience and judgement. Evanston: Nortwestern University Press.
Lorenzen, P. (1969): Einführung in die operative Logik und Mathematik. Berlin: Springer.
2 Weiss, C. (2006): Form und In-formation. Zur Logik selbstreferentieller Strukturgenese.
Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann.
3 
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