Comments are welcome. Here is the abstract:
The question considered is 'How can formulae of the propositional calculus be brought into a representational relation with the world?'. Four approaches are discussed: (1) the denotational approach, on which formulae are taken to denote objects, (2) the abbreviational approach, on which formulae and connectives are taken to abbreviate natural-language expressions, (3) the truth-conditional approach, on which truth-conditions are stipulated for formulae, and (4) the modelling approach, on which formulae, together with either valuation- or proof-theory, are regarded as an abstract structure capable of bearing (via stipulation) a representational relation to the world.
The modelling approach is developed here for the first time. The simple technical apparatus used for this is then applied to two issues in the philosophy of logic. (1) I demonstrate a corollary or converse to Carnap's result that certain 'non-normal' valuation-functions can be added to the set of admissible valuations of formulae without destroying the soundness and completeness of standard proof-theories. This sheds considerable light on a recent thread of the inferentialism debate which involves dialectical use of Carnap's result. (2) I show how the approach can be extended to quantification theory, by defining a model-theoretic notion of validity equivalent to the usual one, but making use of a proof-theoretic apparatus in place of the device of assigning values to formulae. This sheds light on the close relationship between proof- and valuation-theory.