William stanley jevons and the extent of meaning in logic and economics

History and Philosophy of Logic 19 (2):83-99 (1998)
This paper shows that William Stanley Jevons was not precursor of logical positivism despite his attempt to build up a unified science. His mechanical reductionism was directed towards this project, and Jevons tried to found mathematics on logic through the development of a theory of number. We show that his attempts were unsuccessful, and that his errors remain visible within the totality of his mechanical system, including his economics. We argue that both his logic and his economics are comprehensible only when interpreted in terms of extent of meaning, and that Jevons? system gives rise to difficulties when interpreted in terms of intent of meaning. We argue that Jevons? methodological recommendations were intended to bridge the gap between extent and intent of meaning. Although Jevons did not succeed in establishing a unified science, his flawed methodology resulted in one of the first applications of statistics to the social sciences
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/01445349808837299
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,651
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
H. Maas (1999). Mechanical Rationality: Jevons and the Making of Economic Man. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (4):587-619.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

27 ( #176,503 of 1,902,847 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

12 ( #71,058 of 1,902,847 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.