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On the Substitutional Characterization of First-Order Logical Truth

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I consider the well-known criticism of Quine's characterization of first-order logical truth that it expands the class of logical truths beyond what is sanctioned by the model-theoretic account. Briefly, I argue that at best the criticism is shallow and can be answered with slight alterations in Quine's account. At worse the criticism is defective because, in part, it is based on a misrepresentation of Quine. This serves not only to clarify Quine's position, but also to crystallize what is and what is not at issue in choosing the model-theoretic account of first-order logical truth over one in terms of substitutions. I conclude by highlighting the need for justifying the belief that the definition of first-order logical truth in terms of models is superior to its definition in terms of substitutions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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