The Mathematical Roots of Semantic Analysis

Abstract

Semantic analysis in early analytic philosophy belongs to a long tradition of adopting geometrical methodologies to the solution of philosophical problems. In particular, it adapts Descartes’ development of formalization as a mechanism of analytic representation, for its application in natural language semantics. This article aims to trace the mathematical roots of Frege, Russel and Carnap’s analytic method. Special attention is paid to the formal character of modern analysis introduced by Descartes. The goal is to identify the particular conception of “form” developed by the analytic tradition, from Descartes to early analytic philosophy, and to determine its relation to similar notions, like ‘function’ and ‘syntax’. Finally, I focus on how Frege, Russell and Carnap’s methods of semantic analysis fit the general characterization of formal analysis previously developed.

Author's Profile

Axel Barceló
Institute Of Philosophy, Mexico

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