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Fixed- versus Variable-domain Interpretations of Tarski’s Account of Logical Consequence



In this article I describe and evaluate the debate that surrounds the proper interpretation of Tarski’s account of logical consequence given in his classic 1936 article ‘On the concept of logical consequence’. In the late 1980s Etchemendy argued that the familiar model theoretic account of logical consequence is not to be found in Tarski’s original article. Whereas the contemporary account of logical consequence is a variable-domain conception – in that it calls for a reinterpretation of the domain of variation of the quantifiers when evaluating logical consequence –, no such reinterpretation is found in Tarski’s original account, which was rather based on a ‘fixed-domain’ conception. Etchemendy’s claims have sparked a debate on Tarski’s conception of logical consequence with important contributions by, among others, Bach, Bays, Corcoran, Gómez-Torrente, Mancosu, Ray, Sagüillo, and Sher.

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