David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (5):773-783 (1994)
We discuss in this paper the question of the scope of the principle of tolerance about languages promoted in Carnap's The Logical Syntax of Language and the nature of the analogy between it and the rudimentary conventionalism purportedly exhibited in the work of Poincaré and Hilbert. We take it more or less for granted that Poincaré and Hilbert do argue for conventionalism. We begin by sketching Coffa's historical account, which suggests that tolerance be interpreted as a conventionalism that allows us complete freedom to select whatever language we wish—an interpretation that generalizes the conventionalism promoted by Poincaré and Hilbert which allows us complete freedom to select whatever axiom system we wish for geometry. We argue that such an interpretation saddles Carnap with a theory of meaning that has unhappy consequences, a theory we believe he did not hold. We suggest that the principle of linguistic tolerance in fact has a more limited scope; but within that scope the analogy between tolerance and geometric conventionalism is quite tight
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References found in this work BETA
Rudolf Carnap (1937). The Logical Syntax of Language. London, K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd..
Alberto Coffa (1986). From Geometry to Tolerance: Sources of Conventionalism in Nineteenth-Century Geometry. In Robert G. Colodny (ed.), From Quarks to Quasars: Philosophical Problems of Modern Physics. University of Pittsburgh Press. 7--3.
William Demopoulos (1994). Frege, Hilbert, and the Conceptual Structure of Model Theory. History and Philosophy of Logic 15 (2):211-225.
Michael Friedman (1991). The Re-Evaluation of Logical Positivism. Journal of Philosophy 88 (10):505-519.
Micheal Friedman (1983). Foundations of Space-Time Theories. Princeton University Press.
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