Frege meets Belnap: Basic Law V in a Relevant Logic

In Andrew Tedder, Shawn Standefer & Igor Sedlar (eds.), New Directions in Relevant Logic. Springer. pp. 381-404 (forthcoming)
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Abstractionism in the philosophy of mathematics aims at deriving large fragments of mathematics by combining abstraction principles (i.e. the abstract objects $\S e_1, \S e_2$, are identical if, and only if, an equivalence relation $Eq_\S$ holds between the entities $e_1, e_2$) with logic. Still, as highlighted in work on the semantics for relevant logics, there are different ways theories might be combined. In exactly what ways must logic and abstraction be combined in order to get interesting mathematics? In this paper, we investigate the matter by deriving the axioms of second-order Peano Arithmetic from Frege's Basic Law V (the extension of $F$ is identical with the extension of $G$ if, and only if, $F$ and $G$ are extensionally equivalent) in the presence of a relevant higher-order logic. The results are interesting. Not only must we take on logic as true, and not only must we apply our logic to abstraction principles, but also we have to apply our theory of abstraction back to the logic in order to arrive at arithmetic. Thus, what Abstractionism gives us is not simply what we get from abstraction via logic, but also what we get from logic via abstraction.

Author Profiles

Francesca Boccuni
University Vita-Salute San Raffaele
Shay Logan
Kansas State University


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