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Abstract

Modern Logic has generated a lot of problems for itself through inattention to natural forms of speech. In particular it has had difficulties with a large group of ‘logical paradoxes’ through its preoccupation with the Predicate Calculus and related structures to the exclusion of other formal structures that represent natural language more fully, and thereby escape these paradoxes. In natural speech the unrecognized forms involved are principally individual referring terms with a non-specific or fictional reference. For, under the influence of the Logical Empiricists, the focus in formal logic has been on individual terms with a specific, factual reference. But a similar point arises with certain predicates, and indeed even the proper concept of a predicate has been lost, producing the most notorious of the standard puzzles: Russell's Paradox. The paper inevitably makes reference to contemporary logical symbolism in places, but its purpose is to show that the only way forward is to use a symbolism that is abbreviatory only, i.e. maps directly onto natural speech.