Single Idea 11214

[catalogued under 19. Language / F. Communication / 3. Denial]

Full Idea

The standard view is that affirming not-A is more complex than affirming the atomic sentence A itself, with the latter determining its sense. But we could learn 'not' directly, by learning at once how to either affirm A or reject A.

Gist of Idea

We learn 'not' along with affirmation, by learning to either affirm or deny a sentence


Ian Rumfitt ("Yes" and "No" [2000], IV)

Book Reference

-: 'Mind' [-], p.797

A Reaction

[compressed] This seems fairly anti-Fregean in spirit, because it looks at the psychology of how we learn 'not' as a way of clarifying what we mean by it, rather than just looking at its logical behaviour (and thus giving it a secondary role).

Related Idea

Idea 18903 Sommers promotes the old idea that negation basically refers to terms [Sommers, by Engelbretsen]