Logic, Concepts, and Communication

The project aims to show in which way concepts as intensions, as well as the use of concepts as intensions, have a fundamental role in logic. This aim is to be achieved by means of the research that will intrinsically interconnect the intensional and pragmatic approach to logic. The project consists of the research of the intensional foundations of logic and its primitive concepts, extends to the logical foundations of ontology and to a general theory of the role of concept in knowledge, and, finally, explores the use of logic and logical concepts in the context of inter-agent communication.

The research has four main aspects within which the basic role of concepts is aimed to be established: logic of concepts, conceptual foundations of ontology, conceptual foundations of knowledge, and social pragmatics of concepts.

  1. The intensional nature of concepts will be investigated as based on logical operations of abstract reasoning agents (abstract pragmatics). A possible intensional origin of classical logical laws will be examined. Concepts will be approached in first-order and type-theoretical setting as well. One hypothesis to be examined is that intensional logic and logical concepts can be described in terms of objectivity and (according to Gödel’s hypothesis) in terms of causality.
  2. The intensional nature of some fundamental ontological concepts will be examined on the example of new formalization of Bolzano’s ontological theory in comparison with traditional and Leibnizian ontologies. The research will focus on the concepts of substance, adherence/inherence, and whole-part.
  3. The contribution of concepts to the objective value of knowledge is aimed to be shown, especially in mathematics, and starting from Frege’s theory of concepts. Especially, the interrelationship of the conceptual and objectual content in analytic and first-order propositions will be investigated.
  4. The causal role of logical concepts and language in the context of their use in speech acts and argumentative dialogue will be analysed. Pragmatics will be shown to be an essential constituent part of logic, which is, like syntax and semantics, apt to be rigorously formalized. The results will be applied in the argumentation theory. In addition, the research aims to show that the use of logic and language is a primary source of the description of concepts.

One of the features of the project research is that, as an aid to the investigation, we also explore some hidden or neglected aspects of some old or seminal modern logical theories (especially Kant, Bolzano, Frege), which by the use of modern methodology help in presenting and solving some of the problems posed in this project.

A general hypothesis thus expected to be confirmed is that logical concepts have intrinsically objective and causal value – in particular, they can themselves be formally described in terms of objectivity and causality, they provide a basis for the formal foundations of ontology and knowledge, they objectively and causally contribute to the change in group or social communication environment by their use in speech acts and dialogue.

Besides, as a common result we expect to come to some general form of logical pragmatic approach that should include formal description of the use of concepts in theoretical, as well as in practical (communicative) context. We also expect to be able to formulate a corresponding methodology of formal description of concepts on the ground of the general pragmatic theory of their use.

Start of the project: June 15, 2015.

Duration of the project: four years.