This paper offers an exposition of Husserl's mature philosophy of mathematics, expounded for the first time in Logische Untersuchungen and maintained without any essential change throughout the rest of his life. It is shown that Husserl's views on mathematics were strongly influenced by Riemann, and had clear affinities with the much later Bourbaki school.
Quine’s criticism of the notion of analyticity applies, at best, to Carnap’s notion, not to those of Frege or Husserl. The failure of logicism is also the failure of Frege’s definition of analyticity, but it does not even touch Husserl’s views, which are based on logical form. However, some relatively concrete number-theoretic statements do not admit such a formalization salva veritate. A new definition of analyticity based not on syntactical but on semantical logical form is proposed and argued for.
This paper is concerned with the use of logic to solve philosophical problems. Such use of logic goes counter to the prevailing empiricist tradition in analytic circles. Specifically, model-theoretic tools are applied to three fundamental issues in the philosophy of logic and mathematics, namely, to the issue of the existence of mathematical entities, to the dispute between first- and second-order logic and to the definition of analyticity.
Husserl's contributions to the nature of mathematical knowledge are opposed to the naturalist, empiricist and pragmatist tendences that are nowadays dominant. It is claimed that mainstream tendences fail to distinguish the historical problem of the origin and evolution of mathematical knowledge from the epistemological problem of how is it that we have access to mathematical knowledge.
Frege's semantics of sense and reference and two husserlian alternatives are discussed. it is shown that husserl neither took his semantics of sense and reference from frege nor abandoned psychologism under his influence. frege's arguments on behalf of his choice of truth values as the reference of statements and of concepts as the reference of conceptual words are submitted to criticism. some algebraic considerations are sketched in the last part of the article.
This paper discusses Husserl’s views on physical theories in the first volume of his Logical Investigations, and compares them with those of his contemporaries Pierre Duhem and Henri Poincaré. Poincaré’s views serve as a bridge to a discussion of Husserl’s almost unknown views on physical geometry from about 1890 on, which in comparison even with Poincaré’s—not to say Frege’s—or almost any other philosopher of his time, represented a rupture with the philosophical tradition and were much more in tune with the (...) physical geometry underlying the Einstein-Hilbert general theory of relativity developed more than two decades later. (shrink)
In this paper six of the most important issues in the philosophy of logic are examined from a standpoint that rejects the First Commandment of empiricist analytic philosophy, namely, Ockham’s razor. Such a standpoint opens the door to the clarification of such fundamental issues and to possible new solutions to each of them.
Inspired by the writings of J. M. Hinton (1967a, 1967b, 1973), but ushered into the mainstream by Paul Snowdon (1980–1, 1990–1), John McDowell (1982, 1986), and M. G. F. Martin (2002, 2004, 2006), disjunctivism is currently discussed, advocated, and opposed in the philosophy of perception, the theory of knowledge, the theory of practical reason, and the philosophy of action. But what is disjunctivism?
John McDowell espouses a certain conception of the thinking subject: as an embodied, living, finite being, with a capacity for experience that can take in the world, and stand in relations of warrant to subjects' beliefs. McDowell presents this conception of the subject as requiring a related conception of the world: as not located outside the conceptual sphere. In this latter conception, idealism and common-sense realism are supposed to coincide. But I suggest that McDowell's conception of the subject scuppers this (...) intended coincidence. The upshot is a dilemma: McDowell can retain his conception of the subject, but lose the coincidence; or he can keep the coincidence, but abandon his conception of the subject. (shrink)
Jennifer Hornsby's account of human action frees us from the temptation to think of the person who acts as 'doing' the events that are her actions, and thereby removes much of the allure of 'agent causation'. But her account is spoiled by the claim that physical actions are 'tryings' that cause bodily movements. It would be better to think of physical actions and bodily movements as identical; but Hornsby refuses to do this, seemingly because she thinks that to do so (...) would be to endorse the so-called 'standard causal story'. But Hornsby misses a possibility here, for we can insist on this identity claim without endorsing the standard story if we embrace an account which parallels the disjunctive account in the philosophy of perception. This will leave us with a picture of physical action that saves the insights of Hornsby's account without succumbing to its distortions. (shrink)
The Swamping Problem is one of the standard objections to reliabilism. If one assumes, as reliabilism does, that truth is the only non instrumental epistemic value, then the worry is that the additional value of knowledge over true belief cannot be adequately explained, for reliability only has instrumental value relative to the non instrumental value of truth. Goldman and Olsson reply to this objection that reliabilist knowledge raises the objective probability of future true beliefs and is thus more valuable than (...) mere true belief. I argue against their proposed solution to the Swamping Problem that the conditional probability of future true beliefs given knowledge is not clearly higher than given mere true belief. (shrink)
John McDowell's conception of perceptual knowledge commits him to the claim that if I perceive that P then I am in a position to know that I perceive that P. In the first part of this essay, I present some reasons to be suspicious of this claim - reasons which derive from a general argument against 'luminosity' - and suggest that McDowell can reject this claim, while holding on to almost all of the rest of his conception of perceptual knowledge, (...) by supplementing his existing disjunctive conception of experience with a new disjunctive conception of perceiving. In the second part of the essay, I present some reasons for thinking that one's justification, in cases of perceptual knowledge, consists not in the fact that one perceives that P but in the fact that one perceives such-and-such. I end by suggesting that the disjunctive conception of perceiving should be understood as a disjunctive conception of perceiving such-and-such. (shrink)
Recent epistemology has reflected a growing interest in issues about the value of knowledge and the values informing epistemic appraisal. Is knowledge more valuable that merely true belief or even justified true belief? Is truth the central value informing epistemic appraisal or do other values enter the picture? Epistemic Value is a collection of previously unpublished articles on such issues by leading philosophers in the field. It will stimulate discussion of the nature of knowledge and of directions that might be (...) taken by the theory of knowledge. The contributors are Jason Baehr, Michael Brady, Berit Brogaard, Michael DePaul, Pascal Engel, Catherine Elgin, Alvin Goldman, John Greco, Stephen Grimm, Ward Jones, Martin Kusch, Jonathan Kvanvig, Michael Lynch, Erik Olsson, Wayne Riggs and Matthew Weiner. (shrink)
I critically discuss two claims which Hannah Ginsborg makes on behalf of her account of meaning in terms of ‘primitive normativity’(2011; 2012): first, that it avoids the sceptical regress articulated by Kripke's Wittgenstein; second, that it makes sense of the thought—central to Kripke's Wittgenstein—that ‘meaning is normative’, in a way which shows this thought not only to be immune from recent criticisms but also to undermine reductively naturalistic theories of content. In the course of the discussion, I consider and attempt (...) to shed light on a number of issues: the structure of the sceptical regress; the content of the thought that ‘meaning is normative’, and its force against reductive theories; the connection between meaning and justification; and the notion of ‘primitive normativity’. (shrink)
Arthur C. Danto’s Analytical Philosophy of History has a Kantian ambition: to state the conditions that make historical knowledge possible and to show “the unhappy destiny” that attends attempts to extend modes of representation beyond these conditions. Even though Danto’s book fails to achieve this ambition, it succeeds in making a number of important—if neglected—suggestions in the course of its attempt. One concerns the significance of the progressive tense for our thinking about human agency. Another concerns the way agency can (...) impact negatively on the possibility of foreknowledge. (shrink)
This article seeks to answer the following questions: is Quentin Skinner right to claim that actions in the past should not be described by means of concepts not available at the time those actions occurred? And is Ian Hacking right to claim that such descriptions do not merely describe but actually change the past? The author begins by arguing that it is not clear precisely what Skinner is claiming and shows how, under the pressure of criticism, his methodological strictures collapse (...) into trivialities. The author then argues that, although Hacking has given us no reason to accept his claim, we can make sense of it by appealing to the idea of a "Cambridge change." The author concludes by suggesting that as long as we are exercising the right kind of concepts, a suitably modified version of Hacking 's conclusion can be retained. Key Words: action history changes in the past Quentin Skinner Ian Hacking. (shrink)