PP-2008-05: A Brief History of Natural Logic

PP-2008-05: van Benthem, Johan (2008) A Brief History of Natural Logic. [Report]

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Abstract

'Natural logic' is the idea that much human inference can be based on natural language surface form, which (hopefully) reflects fast human computational-cognitive mechanisms. This paper was written at the invitation of the computational linguists at Stanford, who are using light inference mechanisms in current avant-garde text processing. We trace the sources of the idea to pre- Fregean traditional logic, and explain the systematic categorial 'monotonicity calculus' allowing inference a 'free ride' on syntax, first proposed in the 1980s in the setting of generalized quantifier theory, as well as subsequent developments - all the way up to current cognitive science. Calculi of natural logic belong to the most frequently rediscovered ideas in logic: from philosophy in Greek and Chinese Antiquity to modern computer science and neuroscience. The paper will appear in the "Proceedings of the Kolkata Logic Conference 2007", held in the memory of K. Matilal, edited by Benedikt Loewe, Sujata Ghosh, et al.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: PP-2008-05
Series Name: Prepublication (PP) Series
Year: 2008
Uncontrolled Keywords: logic; natural language; natural logic; monotonicity; cognition
Subjects: Logic
Depositing User: Johan Benthem
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:36
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:36
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/279

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