Privation as a specific way of negating is not mentioned in contemporary logic. In contrast, in ancient and medieval logic the theory of privation was quite systematically developed. The reason for this is no doubt the connection between privation theory and certain philosophical theories and problems, such as Aristotle’s theory of matter and form in which privation plays an important role, or the still-influential theory of evil as the privation of the good. The article discusses various forms of privation theory in the history of philosophy and logic, especially in Aristotle and William of Ockham, and then attempts to reconstruct these thoughts in terms of modern logic and semantics, along with the delineation and evaluation of possible challenges for future research. Further, I attempt to find ways of representing these different kinds of privation by means of modern logic and semantics. To this end I work primarily with the conception of John N. Martin, and his use of so-called scalar predicates, but also with the V. Svoboda’s interesting concept of the requisiteness of property. In conclusion I mention some unresolved questions which are connected to the theory of privation.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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