Languages and Theories Adequate to the Ontology of the Language of Science

  • Henryk Stonert
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 119)


Philosophers of science differ in their views concerning the subject matter of science, that is, what theorems are about and to what they refer. These problems are of an ontological nature. Some kind of ontology underlies every language of sciences. This discipline is concerned with “the general principles of being”, with what exists, the nature of what exists, types of entities, etc. The ontology of the language of science manifests itself in that language, if only in the syntax of that language, in the kinds of expressions used in that language and in the syntactic categories assigned to them. The idea that language determines an ontology has been emphasized in Poland by Roman Suszko.


Scientific Statement Axiom System Adequate Theory Syntactic Category Logical Constant 
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  1. 1.
    By a scientific term we mean here a simple expression in the language of a given discipline, which is neither a variable, nor a punctuation mark, nor a bracket. By a scientific term in the narrower sense of the word we mean an extra-logical constant in the language of that discipline.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    In the terminology adopted here’ symbolizes’ means the same as ‘denotes’. Only constant expressions’ symbolize’ (denote); variable expressions (variables) ‘represent’.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Our own interpretation of this term agrees with that of Tarski, as formulated in his book Undecidable Theories, Amsterdam 1953.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    To avoid misunderstandings let us remind the reader that the symbol Σ used in the formula above is the operator which denotes the arithmetical sum of a finite sequence of numbersGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chap. VI (a description of Peano’s adequate arithmetic) has been omitted. (Ed.)Google Scholar

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© PWN — Polish Scientific Publishers — Warszawa 1979

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  • Henryk Stonert

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