UC San Diego
Did Tarski commit "Tarski's fallacy"?
- Author(s): Sher, GY
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.2307/2275681
In his 1936 paper, On the Concept of Logical Consequence, Tarski introduced the celebrated definition of logical consequence: “The sentenceσ follows logically from the sentences of the class Γ if and only if every model of the class Γ is also a model of the sentence σ.” [55, p. 417] This definition, Tarski said, is based on two very basic intuitions, “essential for the proper concept of consequence” [55, p. 415] and reflecting common linguistic usage: “Consider any class Γ of sentences and a sentence which follows from the sentences of this class. From an intuitive standpoint it can never happen that both the class Γ consists only of true sentences and the sentence σ is false. Moreover, … we are concerned here with the concept of logical, i.e., formal, consequence.” [55, p. 414] Tarski believed his definition of logical consequence captured the intuitive notion: “It seems to me that everyone who understands the content of the above definition must admit that it agrees quite well with common usage. … In particular, it can be proved, on the basis of this definition, that every consequence of true sentences must be true.” [55, p. 417] The formality of Tarskian consequences can also be proven. Tarski's definition of logical consequence had a key role in the development of the model-theoretic semantics of modern logic and has stayed at its center ever since.