When is a schema not a schema? On a remark by Suszko

Lloyd Humberstone, Allen Hazen

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A 1971 paper by Roman Suszko, ‘Identity Connective and Modality’, claimed that a certain identity-free schema expressed the condition that there are at most two objects in the domain. Section 1 here gives that schema and enough of the background to this claim to explain Suszko’s own interest in it and related conditions—via non-Fregean logic, in which the objects in question are situations and the aim is to refrain from imposing this condition. Section 3 shows that the claim is false, and suggests a diagnosis as to why it might have been made, in terms of quantifier scope distinctions as they bear on schematic formulations. In between, Section 2 discusses an issue brought up by this discussion but not involving the mistaken claim itself, and shows that Suszko was familiar with two different ways (using identity) to set an upper or lower finite bound to the domain—a contrast which some contemporary readers may associate with David Lewis (for reasons that will be explained in that section).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-220
Number of pages22
JournalStudia Logica
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Identity
  • Non-Fregean logic
  • Schemata
  • Suszko

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