© 2018

Logical Form

Between Logic and Natural Language


  • Provides a clear presentation of the various uses of the term logical form, from the traditional to the more recent

  • Examines the relation between logic and natural language, a classical issue that is crucial to the whole analytic tradition in philosophy

  • Articulates a line of thought that has an enormous impact on some widely debated issues in philosophical logic


Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 393)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Andrea Iacona
    Pages 1-10
  3. Andrea Iacona
    Pages 11-25
  4. Andrea Iacona
    Pages 27-38
  5. Andrea Iacona
    Pages 39-52
  6. Andrea Iacona
    Pages 53-68
  7. Andrea Iacona
    Pages 85-97
  8. Andrea Iacona
    Pages 99-110
  9. Andrea Iacona
    Pages 111-126
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 127-133

About this book


Logical form has always been a prime concern for philosophers belonging to the analytic tradition. For at least one century, the study of logical form has been widely adopted as a method of investigation, relying on its capacity to reveal the structure of thoughts or the constitution of facts. This book focuses on the very idea of logical form, which is directly relevant to any principled reflection on that method. Its central thesis is that there is no such thing as a correct answer to the question of what is logical form: two significantly different notions of logical form are needed to fulfill two major theoretical roles that pertain respectively to logic and to semantics. This thesis has a negative and a positive side. The negative side is that a deeply rooted presumption about logical form turns out to be overly optimistic: there is no unique notion of logical form that can play both roles. The positive side is that the distinction between two notions of logical form, once properly spelled out, sheds light on some fundamental issues concerning the relation between logic and language.


logical form truth conditions content propositions first order definable semantic structure syntactic structure quantifier expressions quantification adequate formalization natural language Aristotelian logic, Stoic logic Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Tarski, Davidson, Montague LF vagueness validity logical consequence equivocation context sensitivity

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Logic, Language, and Cognition, Department of Philosophy and EducationUniversity of TurinTurinItaly

About the authors

Andrea Iacona is Professor of Logic at the University of Turin. His main research interests are in logic and philosophy of language. He is the author of Propositions (Name 2002), L'argomentazione (Einaudi 2005, second edition 2010), and Teoria della logica del prim'ordine (with Stefano Cavagnetto), 2010.

Bibliographic information


“Iacona’s book raises interesting and important questions about the role of logical form in logic and philosophy, and about the role of demonstratives in logic and reasoning.” (Geoff Georgi, dialectica, Vol. 72 (4), 2019)