1st Edition

Subject and Predicate in Logic and Grammar

By P.F. Strawson Copyright 2004

    P.F. Strawson has supplied a new introduction for this reissue of his modern classic originally published in 1974. Subject and Predicate in Logic and Grammar explores two conceptions of subject and predicate, one of which lies at the core of standard logic and the other more closely relates to surface forms of natural language. Strawson renders these two conceptions, and their divergences, intelligible by relating them both to the 'basic case' in which the subject-term designates a substantial spatio-temporal individual. Through his treatment of these conceptions, Strawson added to our understanding of both logic and general grammar, helping us trace formal characteristics of logic and its grammar to their roots in general features of thought and experience, and observing how the grammatical structure of a large group of non-formalized languages naturally develops in various ways, along other lines. This book, based originally on seminar material used at Oxford and Princeton and a series of lectures delivered at Irvine and University College London, has become an enduring landmark in the literature of logic and the philosophy of language.

    Contents: Preface; Introduction; Part I The subject in logic: The 'basic combination': Some formal differences; Spatio-temporal particulars and general concepts; Propositional combination: a tripartition of function; Formal differences explained for the basic case; The generalization of the form; An objection answered; Proper Names - and others: What is the use of them?; Names and identity; Names in the framework of logic: proper names, variable names and descriptive names; General names. Part II The subject in general: Language-types and perspicuous grammars: Essential grammar and variable grammar; Language-types 1 and 2; Language-types 3: relations; Further minor enrichments: space-time indication; Substantiation and its modes: Special case and general function; Some supporting evidence; Modes of substantiation; Further matters: existence; negation; scope; The generalization of the subject: Derivative roles and derivative elements; The generalization of the subject; The fitting in of feature; Further questions. Index.


    P.F. Strawson is Waynflete Professor Emeritus of Metaphysical Philosophy at University College, Oxford, UK.

    'P.F. Strawson's stature in recent and contemporary philosophy is enormous.' A.C. Grayling, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK 'Strawson's work has played a significant role in getting us to where we are now.'' Timothy Williamson, New College, University of Oxford, UK