The rather unrestrained use of second-order logic in the neo-logicist program is critically examined. It is argued in some detail that it brings with it genuine set-theoretical existence assumptions and that the mathematical power that Hume’s Principle seems to provide, in the derivation of Frege’s Theorem, comes largely from the ‘logic’ assumed rather than from Hume’s Principle. It is shown that Hume’s Principle is in reality not stronger than the very weak Robinson Arithmetic Q. Consequently, only a few rudimentary facts (...) of arithmetic are logically derivable from Hume’s Principle. And that hardly counts as a vindication of logicism. (shrink)
A crucial part of the contemporary interest in logicism in the philosophy of mathematics resides in its idea that arithmetical knowledge may be based on logical knowledge. Here an implementation of this idea is considered that holds that knowledge of arithmetical principles may be based on two things: (i) knowledge of logical principles and (ii) knowledge that the arithmetical principles are representable in the logical principles. The notions of representation considered here are related to theory-based and structure-based notions of (...) representation from contemporary mathematical logic. It is argued that the theory-based versions of such logicism are either too liberal (the plethora problem) or are committed to intuitively incorrect closure conditions (the consistency problem). Structure-based versions must on the other hand respond to a charge of begging the question (the circularity problem) or explain how one may have a knowledge of structure in advance of a knowledge of axioms (the signature problem). This discussion is significant because it gives us a better idea of what a notion of representation must look like if it is to aid in realizing some of the traditional epistemic aims of logicism in the philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
Most advocates of the so-called “neologicist” movement in the philosophy of mathematics identify themselves as “Neo-Fregeans” (e.g., Hale and Wright): presenting an updated and revised version of Frege’s form of logicism. Russell’s form of logicism is scarcely discussed in this literature, and when it is, often dismissed as not really logicism at all (in lights of its assumption of axioms of infinity, reducibiity and so on). In this paper I have three aims: firstly, to identify more clearly (...) the primary metaontological and methodological differences between Russell’s logicism and the more recent forms; secondly, to argue that Russell’s form of logicism offers more elegant and satisfactory solutions to a variety of problems that continue to plague the neo-logicist movement (the bad company objection, the embarassment of richness objection, worries about a bloated ontology, etc.); thirdly, to argue that Neo- Russellian forms of neologicism remain viable positions for current philosophers of mathematics. (shrink)
In this extended critical discussion of 'Kant's Modal Metaphysics' by Nicholas Stang (OUP 2016), I focus on one central issue from the first chapter of the book: Stang’s account of Kant’s doctrine that existence is not a real predicate. In §2 I outline some background. In §§3-4 I present and then elaborate on Stang’s interpretation of Kant’s view that existence is not a real predicate. For Stang, the question of whether existence is a real predicate amounts to the question: ‘could (...) there be non-actual possibilia?’ (p.35). Kant’s view, according to Stang, is that there could not, and that the very notion of non-actual or ‘mere’ possibilia is incoherent. In §5 I take a close look at Stang’s master argument that Kant’s Leibnizian predecessors are committed to the claim that existence is a real predicate, and thus to mere possibilia. I argue that it involves substantial logical commitments that the Leibnizian could reject. I also suggest that it is danger of proving too much. In §6 I explore two closely related logical commitments that Stang’s reading implicitly imposes on Kant, namely a negative universal free logic and a quantified modal logic that invalidates the Converse Barcan Formula. I suggest that each can seem to involve Kant himself in commitment to mere possibilia. (shrink)
This paper describes both an exegetical puzzle that lies at the heart of Frege’s writings—how to reconcile his logicism with his definitions and claims about his definitions—and two interpretations that try to resolve that puzzle, what I call the “explicative interpretation” and the “analysis interpretation.” This paper defends the explicative interpretation primarily by criticizing the most careful and sophisticated defenses of the analysis interpretation, those given my Michael Dummett and Patricia Blanchette. Specifically, I argue that Frege’s text either are (...) inconsistent with the analysis interpretation or do not support it. I also defend the explicative interpretation from the recent charge that it cannot make sense of Frege’s logicism. While I do not provide the explicative interpretation’s full solution to the puzzle, I show that its main competitor is seriously problematic. (shrink)
In two recent papers, Bob Hale has attempted to free second-order logic of the 'staggering existential assumptions' with which Quine famously attempted to saddle it. I argue, first, that the ontological issue is at best secondary: the crucial issue about second-order logic, at least for a neo-logicist, is epistemological. I then argue that neither Crispin Wright's attempt to characterize a `neutralist' conception of quantification that is wholly independent of existential commitment, nor Hale's attempt to characterize the second-order domain in terms (...) of definability, can serve a neo-logicist's purposes. The problem, in both cases, is similar: neither Wright nor Hale is sufficiently sensitive to the demands that impredicativity imposes. Finally, I defend my own earlier attempt to finesse this issue, in "A Logic for Frege's Theorem", from Hale's criticisms. (shrink)
According to Quine, Charles Parsons, Mark Steiner, and others, Russell's logicist project is important because, if successful, it would show that mathematical theorems possess desirable epistemic properties often attributed to logical theorems, such as a prioricity, necessity, and certainty. Unfortunately, Russell never attributed such importance to logicism, and such a thesis contradicts Russell's explicitly stated views on the relationship between logic and mathematics. This raises the question: what did Russell understand to be the philosophical importance of logicism? Building (...) on recent work by Andrew Irvine and Martin Godwyn, I argue that Russell thought a systematic reduction of mathematics increases the certainty of known mathematical theorems (even basic arithmetical facts) by showing mathematical knowledge to be coherently organized. The paper outlines Russell's theory of coherence, and discusses its relevance to logicism and the certainty attributed to mathematics. -/- . (shrink)
In this work I study the main tenets of the logicist philosophy of mathematics. I deal, basically, with two problems: (1) To what extent can one dispense with intuition in mathematics? (2) What is the appropriate logic for the purposes of logicism? By means of my considerations I try to determine the pros and cons of logicism. My standpoint favors the logicist line of thought. -/- .
In the Foundations of Mathematics, Ramsey attempted to amend Principia Mathematica’s logicism to meet serious objections raised against it. While Ramsey’s paper is well known, some questions concerning Ramsey’s motivations to write it and its reception still remain. This paper considers these questions afresh. First, an account is provided for why Ramsey decided to work on his paper instead of simply accepting Wittgenstein’s account of mathematics as presented in the Tractatus. Secondly, evidence is given supporting that Wittgenstein was not (...) moved by Ramsey’s objection against the Tractarian account of arithmetic, and a suggestion is made to explain why Wittgenstein reconsidered Ramsey’s account in the early thirties on several occasions. Finally, a reading is formulated to understand the basis on which Wittgenstein argues against Ramsey’s definition of identity in his 1927 letter to Ramsey. (shrink)
This paper has two separate aims, with obvious links between them. First, to present Charles S. Peirce and the pragmatist movement in a historical framework which stresses the close connections of pragmatism with the mainstream of philosophy; second, to deal with a particular controversial issue, that of the supposed logicistic orientation of Peirce's work.
L’analyse logiciste des constructions savantes a pour but de mettre à nu leurs composantes symboliques : une base de données (observations et présuppositions) et un ensemble d’opérations de réécriture exprimant le raisonnement qui relie cette base aux thèses de la construction. Les travaux inspirés de ce programme depuis une vingtaine d’années soulèvent des questions intéressantes dans les perspectives d’une épistémologie pratique maintes fois exposées. L’étude des conflits d’interprétation y tient une large place ; elle s’apparente à l’analyse des controverses scientifiques (...) mais vise moins à expliquer celles-ci, du point de vue socio-historique, qu’à mieux définir les voies choisies pour les résoudre, les éluder ou les dépasser, selon les cas. Le questionnement logiciste porte sur les conséquences intellectuelles et institutionnelles de ces choix. L’affirmation de sa pérennité procède à la fois d’un constat et d’un pari, l’un et l’autre argumentés dans cet article. (shrink)
Nous envisagerons dans cet article la possibilité d'un abord pratique de la relation entre linguistique et psychanalyse : la modélisation linguistique des données mises au jour par la psychanalyse à partir de corpus tirés du discours courant. La validation de tels modèles d'après les critères requis par l'« approche logiciste » de J.-C. Gardin et J. Molino sera examinée sur un exemple précis que nous exposerons en détail : l'Analyse des Logiques Subjectives, modèle développé, publié et enseigné par nous depuis (...) près de vingt ans. (shrink)
I critically discuss Dale Jacquette’s Frege: A Philosophical Biography. First, I provide a short overview of Jacquette’s book. Second, I evaluate Jacquette’s interpretation of Frege’s three major works, Begriffsschrift, Grundlagen der Arithmetik and Grundgesetze der Arithmetik; and conclude that the author does not faithfully represent their content. Finally, I offer some technical and general remarks.
Neo-Fregean logicists claim that Hume's Principle (HP) may be taken as an implicit definition of cardinal number, true simply by fiat. A longstanding problem for neo-Fregean logicism is that HP is not deductively conservative over pure axiomatic second-order logic. This seems to preclude HP from being true by fiat. In this paper, we study Richard Kimberly Heck's Two-sorted Frege Arithmetic (2FA), a variation on HP which has been thought to be deductively conservative over second-order logic. We show that it (...) isn't. In fact, 2FA is not conservative over $n$-th order logic, for all $n \geq 2$. It follows that in the usual one-sorted setting, HP is not deductively Field-conservative over second- or higher-order logic. (shrink)
A speculative investigation of how Frege's logical views change between Begriffsschrift and Grundgesetze and how this might have affected the formal development of logicism.
The objective of this paper is to analyze the broader significance of Frege’s logicist project against the background of Wittgenstein’s philosophy from both Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations. The article draws on two basic observations, namely that Frege’s project aims at saying something that was only implicit in everyday arithmetical practice, as the so-called recursion theorem demonstrates, and that the explicitness involved in logicism does not concern the arithmetical operations themselves, but rather the way they are defined. It thus represents (...) the attempt to make explicit not the rules alone, but rather the rules governing their following, i.e. rules of second-order type. I elaborate on these remarks with short references to Brandom’s refinement of Frege’s expressivist and Wittgenstein’s pragmatist project. (shrink)
In the early 1900s, Russell began to recognize that he, and many other mathematicians, had been using assertions like the Axiom of Choice implicitly, and without explicitly proving them. In working with the Axioms of Choice, Infinity, and Reducibility, and his and Whitehead’s Multiplicative Axiom, Russell came to take the position that some axioms are necessary to recovering certain results of mathematics, but may not be proven to be true absolutely. The essay traces historical roots of, and motivations for, Russell’s (...) method of analysis, which are intended to shed light on his view about the status of mathematical axioms. I describe the position Russell develops in consequence as “immanent logicism,” in contrast to what Irving (1989) describes as “epistemic logicism.” Immanent logicism allows Russell to avoid the logocentric predicament, and to propose a method for discovering structural relationships of dependence within mathematical theories. (shrink)
Logicism is, roughly speaking, the doctrine that mathematics is fancy logic. So getting clear about the nature of logic is a necessary step in an assessment of logicism. Logic is the study of logical concepts, how they are expressed in languages, their semantic values, and the relationships between these things and the rest of our concepts, linguistic expressions, and their semantic values. A logical concept is what can be expressed by a logical constant in a language. So the (...) question “What is logic?” drives us to the question “What is a logical constant?” Though what follows contains some argument, limitations of space constrain me in large part to express my Credo on this topic with the broad brush of bold assertion and some promissory gestures. (shrink)
We develop a theory of necessity operators within a version of higher-order logic that is neutral about how fine-grained reality is. The theory is axiomatized in terms of the primitive of *being a necessity*, and we show how the central notions in the philosophy of modality can be recovered from it. Various questions are formulated and settled within the framework, including questions about the ordering of necessities under strength, the existence of broadest necessities satisfying various logical conditions, and questions about (...) their logical behaviour. We also wield the framework to probe the conditions under which a logicist account of necessities is possible, in which the theory is completely reducible to logic. (shrink)
The Bounds of Logic presents a new philosophical theory of the scope and nature of logic based on critical analysis of the principles underlying modern Tarskian logic and inspired by mathematical and linguistic development. Extracting central philosophical ideas from Tarski’s early work in semantics, Sher questions whether these are fully realized by the standard first-order system. The answer lays the foundation for a new, broader conception of logic. By generally characterizing logical terms, Sher establishes a fundamental result in semantics. Her (...) development of the notion of logicality for quantifiers and her work on branching are of great importance for linguistics. Sher outlines the boundaries of the new logic and points out some of the philosophical ramifications of the new view of logic for such issues as the logicist thesis, ontological commitment, the role of mathematics in logic, and the metaphysical underpinning of logic. She proposes a constructive definition of logical terms, reexamines and extends the notion of branching quantification, and discusses various linguistic issues and applications. (shrink)
Neo-logicism uses definitions and Hume's Principle to derive arithmetic in second-order logic. This paper investigates how much arithmetic can be derived using definitions alone, without any additional principle such as Hume's.
Gottlob Frege abandoned his logicist program after Bertrand Russell had discovered that some assumptions of Frege’s system lead to contradiction (so called Russell’s paradox). Nevertheless, he proposed a new attempt for the foundations of mathematics in two last years of his life. According to this new program, the whole of mathematics is based on the geometrical source of knowledge. By the geometrical source of cognition Frege meant intuition which is the source of an infinite number of objects in arithmetic. In (...) this article, I describe this final attempt of Frege to provide the foundations of mathematics. Furthermore, I compare Frege’s views of intuition from The Foundations of Arithmetic (and his later views) with the Kantian conception of pure intuition as the source of geometrical axioms. In the conclusion of the essay, I examine some implications for the debate between Hans Sluga and Michael Dummett concerning the realistic and idealistic interpretations of Frege’s philosophy. (shrink)
Is a logicist bound to the claim that as a matter of analytic truth there is an actual infinity of objects? If Hume’s Principle is analytic then in the standard setting the answer appears to be yes. Hodes’s work pointed to a way out by offering a modal picture in which only a potential infinity was posited. However, this project was abandoned due to apparent failures of cross-world predication. We re-explore this idea and discover that in the setting of the (...) potential infinite one can interpret first-order Peano arithmetic, but not second-order Peano arithmetic. We conclude that in order for the logicist to weaken the metaphysically loaded claim of necessary actual infinities, they must also weaken the mathematics they recover. (shrink)
Chapter 3 surveys objectivity in the natural sciences. Thomas Kuhn problematized the logicist understanding of the objectivity or rationality of scientific change, providing a very different picture than that of the cumulative or step-wise progress of theoretical science. Theories often compete, and when consensus builds around one competitor it may be for a variety of reasons other than just the direct logical implications of experimental successes and failures. Kuhn pitted the study of the actual history of science against what Hans (...) Reichenbach referred to as the “logical substitutes” logicists used to reconstruct the rationality of theory change. Such substitutes were promoted to show that theory confirmation is a purely epistemic affair, where purely epistemic implies purely inferential. But where the positivists saw logical compulsion as the reason for theory change, Kuhn saw psychology in values as relevant to how theories are actually confirmed or accepted by the scientific community. (shrink)
We note that a plural version of logicism about arithmetic is suggested by the standard reading of Hume's Principle in terms of `the number of Fs/Gs'. We lay out the resources needed to prove a version of Frege's principle in plural, rather than second-order, logic. We sketch a proof of the theorem and comment philosophically on the result, which sits well with a metaphysics of natural numbers as plural properties.
It has been known for a few years that no more than Pi-1-1 comprehension is needed for the proof of "Frege's Theorem". One can at least imagine a view that would regard Pi-1-1 comprehension axioms as logical truths but deny that status to any that are more complex—a view that would, in particular, deny that full second-order logic deserves the name. Such a view would serve the purposes of neo-logicists. It is, in fact, no part of my view that, say, (...) Delta-3-1 comprehension axioms are not logical truths. What I am going to suggest, however, is that there is a special case to be made on behalf of Pi-1-1 comprehension. Making the case involves investigating extensions of first-order logic that do not rely upon the presence of second-order quantifiers. A formal system for so-called "ancestral logic" is developed, and it is then extended to yield what I call "Arché logic". (shrink)
A central dispute in understanding Frege’s philosophy concerns how the sense of a complex expression relates to the senses of its component expressions. According to one reading, the sense of a complex expression is a whole built from the senses of the component expressions. On this interpretation, Frege is an early proponent of structured propositions. A rival reading says that senses compose by functional application: the sense of a complex expression is the value of the function denoted by its functional (...) component for the arguments denoted by its remaining components. I argue that two non-negotiable Fregean theses entail that senses compose by functional application. One thesis is that referents compose by functional application. The other thesis is that an expression in an indirect context refers to its customary sense. (shrink)
According to what was the standard view (Poincaré; Wang, etc.), although Frege endorses, and Kant denies, the claim that arithmetic is reducible to logic, there is not a substantive disagreement between them because their conceptions of logic are too different. In his “Frege, Kant, and the logic in logicism,” John MacFarlane aims to establish that Frege and Kant do share enough of a conception of logic for this to be a substantive, adjudicable dispute. MacFarlane maintains that for both Frege (...) and Kant, the fundamental defining characteristic of logic is “that it provides norms for thought as such (MacFarlane, 2002, p.57). I defend the standard view. I show that MacFarlane's argument rests on conflating the way that pure general logic is normative as a canon and as a propaedeutic, and that once these are distinguished the argument is blocked. (shrink)
An overview of what Frege accomplishes in Part II of Grundgesetze, which contains proofs of axioms for arithmetic and several additional results concerning the finite, the infinite, and the relationship between these notions. One might think of this paper as an extremely compressed form of Part II of my book Reading Frege's Grundgesetze.
First, given criteria for identifying universals and particulars, it is shown that stuffs appear to qualify as neither. Second, the standard solutions to the logico-linguistic problem of mass terms are examined and evidence is presented in favor of the view that mass terms are straightforward singular terms and, relatedly, that stuffs indeed belong to a metaphysical category distinct from the categories of universal and particular. Finally, a new theory of the copula is offered: 'The cue is cold', 'The cube is (...) ice', and 'Ice is water' all have the form 'A is B'. On the basis of the logical behavior of stuff-names with respect to this univocal copula, definitions are suggested for 'X is a stuff', 'X composes Y', 'X is a material object', and even 'Matter'. Hence an expanded form of logicism. (shrink)
Many authors believe that the manuscripts Frege wrote in 1924–1925 are not theoretically of interest. They are rather a product of his emotional despair and theoretical dead-end which he reached in the last years of his life. Such is also the judgement of Michael Dummett delivered in his seminal book Frege: Philosophy of Language. According to Dummett, “the few fragmentary writings of Frege’s final period—1919–1925—are not of high quality: they are interesting chiefly as showing that Frege did, at least at (...) the very end of his life, acknowledge the failure of the logicist programme” (Dummett 1981, p. 664). In this paper we will try to show that the widely accepted negative assessment of Frege’s latest writings is due to a lack of understanding of their true idea. In fact, the change in Fre-ge’s mind in the last two or three years of his life was result of long deliberations on a severe tension in his founding intuitions. The change itself made his logico-philosophical project more coherent and, thus, is of utmost theoretical importance. (shrink)
This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the epistemic status of large cardinal axioms, undecidable propositions, and abstraction principles in the philosophy of mathematics; to the modal profile of rational intuition; and (...) to the types of intention, when the latter is interpreted as a modal mental state. Chapter \textbf{2} argues for a novel type of expressivism based on the duality between the categories of coalgebras and algebras, and argues that the duality permits of the reconciliation between modal cognitivism and modal expressivism. I also develop a novel topic-sensitive truthmaker semantics for dynamic epistemic logic, and develop a novel dynamic epistemic two-dimensional hyperintensional semantics. Chapter \textbf{3} provides an abstraction principle for epistemic intensions. Chapter \textbf{4} advances a topic-sensitive two-dimensional truthmaker semantics, and provides three novel interpretations of the framework along with the epistemic and metasemantic. Chapter \textbf{5} applies the fixed points of the modal $\mu$-calculus in order to account for the iteration of epistemic states, by contrast to availing of modal axiom 4 (i.e. the KK principle). Chapter \textbf{6} advances a solution to the Julius Caesar problem based on Fine's `criterial' identity conditions which incorporate conditions on essentiality and grounding. Chapter \textbf{7} provides a ground-theoretic regimentation of the proposals in the metaphysics of consciousness and examines its bearing on the two-dimensional conceivability argument against physicalism. The topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics developed in chapter \textbf{4} is availed of in order for epistemic states to be a guide to metaphysical states in the hyperintensional setting. Chapters \textbf{8-12} provide cases demonstrating how the two-dimensional intensions of epistemic two-dimensional semantics solve the access problem in the epistemology of mathematics. Chapter \textbf{8} examines the modal commitments of abstractionism, in particular necessitism, and epistemic modality and the epistemology of abstraction. Chapter \textbf{9} examines the modal profile of $\Omega$-logic in set theory. Chapter \textbf{10} examines the interaction between topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics, the axioms of epistemic set theory, large cardinal axioms, the Epistemic Church-Turing Thesis, the modal axioms governing the modal profile of $\Omega$-logic, Orey sentences such as the Generalized Continuum Hypothesis, and absolute decidability. Chapter \textbf{11} avails of modal coalgebraic automata to interpret the defining properties of indefinite extensibility, and avails of epistemic two-dimensional semantics in order to account for the interaction of the interpretational and objective modalities thereof. Chapter \textbf{12} provides a modal logic for rational intuition and provides a hyperintensional semantics. Chapter \textbf{13} examines modal responses to the alethic paradoxes. Chapter \textbf{14} examines, finally, the modal semantics for the different types of intention and the relation of the latter to evidential decision theory. The multi-hyperintensional, topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics developed in chapters \textbf{2} and \textbf{4} is applied in chapters \textbf{7}, \textbf{8}, \textbf{10}, \textbf{11}, \textbf{12}, and \textbf{14}. (shrink)
According to Kant, pure intuition is an indispensable ingredient of mathematical proofs. Kant‘s thesis has been considered as obsolete since the advent of modern relational logic at the end of 19th century. Against this logicist orthodoxy Cassirer’s “critical idealism” insisted that formal logic alone could not make sense of the conceptual co-evolution of mathematical and scientific concepts. For Cassirer, idealizations, or, more precisely, idealizing completions, played a fundamental role in the formation of the mathematical and empirical concepts. The aim of (...) this paper is to outline the basics of Cassirer’s idealizational account, and to point at some interesting similarities it has with Kant’s and Peirce’s philosophies of mathematics based on the key notions of pure intuition and theorematic reasoning, respectively. (shrink)
In "To Bet The Impossible Bet", Harmon Holcomb III argues: (i) that Pascal's wager is structurally incoherent; (ii) that if it were not thus incoherent, then it would be successful; and (iii) that my earlier critique of Pascal's wager in "On Rescher On Pascal's Wager" is vitiated by its reliance on "logicist" presuppositions. I deny all three claims. If Pascal's wager is "incoherent", this is only because of its invocation of infinite utilities. However, even if infinite utilities are admissible, the (...) wager is defeated by the "many gods" and "many wagers" objections. Moreover, these objections do not rely on mistaken "logicist" presuppositions: atheists and agnostics traditionally and typically hold that they have no more--or at any rate, hardly any more--reason to believe in the traditional Christian God than they have to believe in countless alternative deities. (shrink)
We are much better equipped to let the facts reveal themselves to us instead of blinding ourselves to them or stubbornly trying to force them into preconceived molds. We no longer embarrass ourselves in front of our students, for example, by insisting that “Some Xs are Y” means the same as “Some X is Y”, and lamely adding “for purposes of logic” whenever there is pushback. Logic teaching in this century can exploit the new spirit of objectivity, humility, clarity, observationalism, (...) contextualism, and pluralism. Besides the new spirit there have been quiet developments in logic and its history and philosophy that could radically improve logic teaching. One rather conspicuous example is that the process of refining logical terminology has been productive. Future logic students will no longer be burdened by obscure terminology and they will be able to read, think, talk, and write about logic in a more careful and more rewarding manner. Closely related is increased use and study of variable-enhanced natural language as in “Every proposition x that implies some proposition y that is false also implies some proposition z that is true”. Another welcome development is the culmination of the slow demise of logicism. No longer is the teacher blocked from using examples from arithmetic and algebra fearing that the students had been indoctrinated into thinking that every mathematical truth was a tautology and that every mathematical falsehood was a contradiction. A fifth welcome development is the separation of laws of logic from so-called logical truths, i.e., tautologies. Now we can teach the logical independence of the laws of excluded middle and non-contradiction without fear that students had been indoctrinated into thinking that every logical law was a tautology and that every falsehood of logic was a contradiction. This separation permits the logic teacher to apply logic in the clarification of laws of logic. This lecture expands the above points, which apply equally well in first, second, and third courses, i.e. in “critical thinking”, “deductive logic”, and “symbolic logic”. (shrink)
Frege's diatribes against psychologism have often been taken to imply that he thought that logic and thought have nothing to do with each other. I argue against this interpretation and attribute to Frege a view on which the two are tightly connected. The connection, however, derives not from logic's being founded on the empirical laws of thought but rather from thought's depending constitutively on the application to it of logic. I call this view 'psycho-logicism.'.
Starting from the sensuous perception of what is seen, an attempt is made at re-casting a Husserlian theory of constitution of the object of intuition, as one leaves the natural attitude through a transcendental method, by positing several theses so as to avoid the aporias of philosophical binary oppositions such as rationalism and empiri-cism, realism and idealism, logicism and psychologism, subjectivism and objectivism, transcendentalism and ontologism, metaphysics and positivism. Throughout fifty-five theses on constitution, the Husserlian proposal of continuously reforming (...) philosophizing by transcendental reduction is revisited, leaving the latter incomplete as new conversions are required by noetic-noematic correlations between world and consciousness. (shrink)
This paper contains a close analysis of Frege's proofs of the axioms of arithmetic §§70-83 of Die Grundlagen, with special attention to the proof of the existence of successors in §§82-83. Reluctantly and hesitantly, we come to the conclusion that Frege was at least somewhat confused in those two sections and that he cannot be said to have outlined, or even to have intended, any correct proof there. The proof he sketches is in many ways similar to that given in (...) Grundgesetze der Arithmetik, but fidelity to what Frege wrote in Die Grundlagen and in Grundgesetze requires us to reject the charitable suggestion that it was this (beautiful) proof that he had in mind in §§82-83. (shrink)
In To be is to be the object of a possible act of choice the authors defended Boolos’ thesis that plural quantification is part of logic. To this purpose, plural quantification was explained in terms of plural reference, and a semantics of plural acts of choice, performed by an ideal team of agents, was introduced. In this paper, following that approach, we develop a theory of concepts that—in a sense to be explained—can be labeled as a theory of logical concepts. (...) Within this theory, we propose a new logicist approach to natural numbers. Then, we compare our logicism with Frege’s traditional logicism. (shrink)
This paper looks at the history of the problem of individuation from Plato to Whitehead. Part I takes as its point of departure Reiner Wiehl’s interpretation of the different meanings of “abstract” in the metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead and arrives at a corresponding taxonomy of different ways things can be called concrete. Part II compares the way philosophers in different periods understand the relation between thought and intuition. The view mostly associated with ancient philosophy is that thought and sense-perception (...) target different kinds of objects. The view mostly associated with modern philosophy (although it was introduced by the Stoics) is that thought and sense-perception are different ways of targeting the same objects. These differences have specific consequences for theories of individuation, which are assessed historically in Part III and then applied to Whitehead’s difficult texts in part IV. (shrink)
Hilbert's axiomatic approach was an optimistic take over on the side of the logical foundations. It was also a response to various restrictive views of mathematics supposedly bounded by the reaches of epistemic elements in mathematics. A complete axiomatization should be able to exclude epistemic or ontic elements from mathematical theorizing, according to Hilbert. This exclusion is not necessarily a logicism in similar form to Frege's or Dedekind's projects. That is, intuition can still have a role in mathematical reasoning. (...) Nevertheless, this role is to be given a structural orientation with the help of explications of the underlying logic of axiomatization. (shrink)
Corcoran, J. 2007. Psychologism. American Philosophy: an Encyclopedia. Eds. John Lachs and Robert Talisse. New York: Routledge. Pages 628-9. -/- Psychologism with respect to a given branch of knowledge, in the broadest neutral sense, is the view that the branch is ultimately reducible to, or at least is essentially dependent on, psychology. The parallel with logicism is incomplete. Logicism with respect to a given branch of knowledge is the view that the branch is ultimately reducible to logic. Every (...) branch of knowledge depends on logic. Psychologism is found in several fields including history, political science, economics, ethics, epistemology, linguistics, aesthetics, mathematics, and logic. Logicism is found mainly in branches of mathematics: number theory, analysis, and, more rarely, geometry. Although the ambiguous term ‘psychologism’ has senses with entirely descriptive connotations, it is widely used in senses that are derogatory. No writers with any appreciation of this point will label their own views as psychologistic. It is usually used pejoratively by people who disapprove of psychologism. The term ‘scientism’ is similar in that it too has both pejorative and descriptive senses but its descriptive senses are rarely used any more. It is almost a law of linguistics that the negative connotations tend to drive out the neutral and the positive. Dictionaries sometimes mark both words with a usage label such as “Usually disparaging”. In this article, the word is used descriptively mainly because there are many psychologistic views that are perfectly respectable and even endorsed by people who would be offended to have their views labeled psychologism. A person who subscribes to logicism is called a logicist, but there is no standard word for a person who subscribes to psychologism. ‘Psychologist’, which is not suitable, occurs in this sense. ‘Psychologician’, with stress on the second syllable as in ‘psychologist’, has been proposed. In the last century, some of the most prominent forms of psychologism pertained to logic; the rest of this article treats only such forms. Psychologism in logic is very “natural”. After all, logic studies reasoning, which is done by the mind, whose nature and functioning is studied in psychology—using the word ‘psychology’ in its broadest etymological sense. (shrink)
Although the economic thought of Marshall and Pigou was united by ethical positions broadly considered utilitarian, differences in their intellectual milieu led to degrees of difference between their respective philosophical visions. This change in milieu includes the influence of the little understood period of transition from the early idealist period in Great Britain, which provided the context to Marshall’s intellectual formation, and the late British Idealist period, which provided the context to Pigou’s intellectual formation. During this latter period, the pervading (...) Hegelianism and influences of naturalism arising from the ideas of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer were challenged by Hermann Lotze, a key transitional thinker influencing the Neo-Kantian movement, who recognised significant limits of naturalism, on the one hand, and the metaphysical tenor of absolute idealism, on the other, and attempted to provide a balance between the two. The goal of this paper is to make the provisional case for the argument that Pigou’s views on ethics were not only directly influenced by utilitarian thinkers like Mill and Sidgwick, but they were also indirectly influenced by Hermann Lotze, via the influence of the Neo- Kantian movement on late British idealism. To that end, Pigou’s essays in The Trouble with Theism (1908), including his sympathetic consideration of the ethics of Friedrich Nietzsche, reflect the influence of Lotze indirectly through the impact at Cambridge of: James Ward’s critique of associationist psychology, and consideration of the limits of naturalism including the critique of evolutionary ethics; Bertrand Russell’s rejection of neo-Hegelianism and, together with Alfred North Whitehead, the development of Logicism; and G.E. Moore’s critique of utilitarian ethics on the basis of the naturalistic fallacy and the development of his own intuitionist system of ethics. (shrink)
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