Frege's invention of the predicate calculus has been the most influential event in the history of modern logic. The calculus’ place in logic is so central that many philosophers think, in fact, of it when they think of logic. This book challenges the position in contemporary logic and philosophy of language of the predicate calculus claiming that it is based on mistaken assumptions. Ben-Yami shows that the predicate calculus is different from natural language in its fundamental semantic characteristics, primarily in its treatment of reference and quantification, and that as a result the calculus is inadequate for the analysis of the semantics and logic of natural language. Ben-Yami develops both an alternative analysis of the semantics of natural language and an alternative deductive system comparable in its deductive power to first order predicate calculus but more adequate than it for the representation of the logic of natural language. Ben-Yami's book is a revolutionary challenge to classical first order predicate calculus, casting doubt on many of the central claims of modern logic.

chapter Chapter 1|4 pages


part I|51 pages

Plural Referring Expressions

chapter Chapter 2|21 pages

Plural Referring Expressions in Natural Language

chapter Chapter 3|13 pages

Common Nouns as Plural Referring Expressions

chapter Chapter 5|9 pages


part II|56 pages


chapter Chapter 7|17 pages

Multiple Quantification

chapter Chapter 8|18 pages

Pronouns, Variables, and Bound Anaphors

part III|40 pages

A Deductive System for Natural Language

chapter Chapter 9|13 pages

Derivation Rules and Consistency

chapter Chapter 10|5 pages

Applications I: Aristotelian Logic

chapter Chapter 11|15 pages

Applications II: Beyond Aristotelian Logic

chapter Chapter 12|5 pages