Mind–body dualism has rarely been an issue in the generative study of mind; Chomsky himself has long claimed it to be incoherent and unformulable. We first present and defend this negative argument but then suggest that the generative enterprise may license a rather novel and internalist view of the mind and its place in nature, different from all of, (i) the commonly assumed functionalist metaphysics of generative linguistics, (ii) physicalism, and (iii) Chomsky’s negative stance. Our argument departs from the (...) empirical observation that the linguistic mind gives rise to hierarchies of semantic complexity that we argue (only) follow from constraints of an essentially mathematical kind. We assume that the faculty of language tightly correlates with the mathematical capacity both formally and in evolution, the latter plausibly arising as an abstraction from the former, as a kind of specialized output. On this basis, and since the semantic hierarchies in question are mirrored in the syntactic complexity of the expression involved, we posit the existence of a higher-dimensional syntax structured on the model of the hierarchy of numbers, in order to explain the semantic facts in question. If so, syntax does not have a physicalist interpretation any more than the hierarchy of number-theoretic spaces does. (shrink)
Traditional logic as a part of philosophy is one of the oldest scientific disciplines. Mathematical logic, however, is a relatively young discipline and arose from the endeavors of Peano, Frege, Russell and others to create a logistic foundation for mathematics. It steadily developed during the 20th century into a broad discipline with several sub-areas and numerous applications in mathematics, informatics, linguistics and philosophy. While there are already several well-known textbooks on mathematical logic, this book is unique in (...) that it is much more concise than most others, and the material is treated in a streamlined fashion which allows the professor to cover many important topics in a one semester course. Although the book is intended for use as a graduate text, the first three chapters could be understood by undergraduates interested in mathematical logic. These initial chapters cover just the material for an introductory course on mathematical logic combined with the necessary material from set theory. This material is of a descriptive nature, providing a view towards decision problems, automated theorem proving, non-standard models and other subjects. The remaining chapters contain material on logic programming for computer scientists, model theory, recursion theory, Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems, and applications of mathematical logic. Philosophical and foundational problems of mathematics are discussed throughout the text. The author has provided exercises for each chapter, as well as hints to selected exercises. About the German edition: …The book can be useful to the student and lecturer who prepares a mathematical logic course at the university. What a pity that the book is not written in a universal scientific language which mankind has not yet created. - A.Nabebin, Zentralblatt. (shrink)
Assuming no previous study in logic, this informal yet rigorous text covers the material of a standard undergraduate first course in mathematical logic, using natural deduction and leading up to the completeness theorem for first-order logic. At each stage of the text, the reader is given an intuition based on standard mathematical practice, which is subsequently developed with clean formal mathematics. Alongside the practical examples, readers learn what can and can't be calculated; for example the correctness of a (...) derivation proving a given sequent can be tested mechanically, but there is no general mechanical test for the existence of a derivation proving the given sequent. The undecidability results are proved rigorously in an optional final chapter, assuming Matiyasevich's theorem characterising the computably enumerable relations. Rigorous proofs of the adequacy and completeness proofs of the relevant logics are provided, with careful attention to the languages involved. Optinal sections discuss the classification of mathematical structures by first-order theories; the required theory of cardinality is developed from scratch. Throughout the book there are notes on historical aspects of the material, and connections with linguistics and computer science, and the discussion of syntax and semantics is influenced by modern linguistic approaches. Two basic themes in recent cognitive science studies of actual human reasoning are also introduced. Including extensive exercises and selected solutions, this text is ideal for students in logic, mathematics, philosophy, and computer science. (shrink)
A basic thesis of Neokantian epistemology and philosophy of science contends that the knowing subject and the object to be known are only abstractions. What really exists, is the relation between both. For the elucidation of this “knowledge relation ("Erkenntnisrelation") the Neokantians of the Marburg school used a variety of mathematical metaphors. In this con-tribution I reconsider some of these metaphors proposed by Paul Natorp, who was one of the leading members of the Marburg school. It is shown that (...) Natorp's metaphors are not unrelated to those used in some currents of contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science. (shrink)
Panini’s 5th century BC generative Sanskrit grammar is shown to be sufficient to describe any formal or computational system in oral form, using a new observation regarding Panini’s “auxilary markers” and the methods of Post production systems. Modern universal computation is described using rules modeled on Sanskrit positional number words representing large numbers in versified sutras. Two versions of “Panini arithmetic” are defined to contrast the computational strength of non-positional and positional numeration. The computational increase between additive and multiplicative arithmetic (...) is attributed to the cognitive skills required for the grammaticalization of positional number words. Positional notations are formally described using Presburger arithmetic and results of Fischer-Rabin on bounded multiplication. As a whole the construction shows how mathematical computation is constructed from natural language structure and the cognitive skills needed for language use. The modern origins of generative linguistics and Turing’s universal computation are described in a new historical light, with Indian positional notation providing computational expertise needed for modern logic. The paper will interest Sanskritists, computer scientists and logicians, and cognitive linguists. No knowledge of Panini grammar, Sanskrit or linguistic grammaticalization is assumed. (shrink)
Jim Brown (1991, viii) says that platonism, in mathematics involves the following: 1. mathematical objects exist independently of us; 2. mathematical objects are abstract; 3. we learn about mathematical objects by the faculty of intuition. The same is being claimed by Jerrold Katz (1981, 1998) in his platonistic approach to linguistics. We can take the object of linguistic analysis to be concrete physical sounds as held by nominalists, or we can assume that the object of linguistic (...) study are psychological or mental states which presents the conceptualism or psychologism of Chomsky and that language is an abstract object as held by platonists or realists and urged by Jerrold Katz hinlself.I want to explicate Katz’s proposal which is based on Kant’s conception of pure intuition and give arguments why I find it implausible. I also present doubts that linguists use intuitive evidence only. I conclude with some arguments against the a prioricity of intuitive judgements in general which is also relevant for Jim Brown’s platonistic beliefs. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss the social philosopher Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of habitus, and use it to locate and examine dispositions in a larger constellation of related concepts, exploring their dynamic relationship within the social context, and their construction, manifestation, and function in relation to classroom mathematics practices. I describe the main characteristics of habitus that account for its invisible effects: its embodiment, its deep and pre-reflective internalization as schemata, orientation, and taste that are learned and yet unthought, and are (...) subsumed by our practices, which we understand as something that “goes without saying.” I also propose that, similarly to Bourdieu’s concept of linguistic habitus, a math habitus is made up of a complex intertwining of collective and individual histories that turn into “nature,” which structure all individual and collective action and inform mathematical classroom practice. I suggest that individual math dispositions may be liable to reconstruction through the reconstruction of the collective math habitus, which follows from opening spaces for dialogue, problematization and reconstruction of the unthought categories of the doxa. This requires that students acquire new concrete and symbolic means with which to challenge their current sense of mathematics as a discipline, and mathematical practice tout court. Finally, I argue that community of inquiry, employed as a pedagogical model, provides an avenue for both: for opening those spaces for reflective dialogical inquiry into concepts and questions whose meanings and references have so far been taken for granted, and for acquiring critical thinking and dialogical skills and dispositions that are a necessary means for participating in such reflective inquiry that offers significant promise for reconstructing individual and collective habitus in school settings. (shrink)
The dominant approach to analyzing the meaning of natural language sentences that express mathematical knowl- edge relies on a referential, formal semantics. Below, I discuss an argument against this approach and in favour of an internalist, conceptual, intensional alternative. The proposed shift in analytic method offers several benefits, including a novel perspective on what is required to track mathematical content, and hence on the Benacerraf dilemma. The new perspective also promises to facilitate discussion between philosophers of mathematics and (...) cognitive scientists working on topics of common interest. (shrink)
Linguists take the intuitive judgments of speakers to be good evidence for a grammar. Why? The Chomskian answer is that they are derived by a rational process from a representation of linguistic rules in the language faculty. The paper takes a different view. It argues for a naturalistic and non-Cartesian view of intuitions in general. They are empirical central-processor responses to phenomena differing from other such responses only in being immediate and fairly unreflective. Applying this to linguistic intuitions yields an (...) explanation of their evidential role without any appeal to the representation of rules. Introduction The evidence for linguistic theories A tension in the linguists' view of intuitions Intuitions in general Linguistic intuitions Comparison of the modest explanation with the standard Cartesian explanation A nonstandard Cartesian explanation of the role of intuitions? Must linguistics explain intuitions? Conclusion. (shrink)
This introduction to mathematical logic starts with propositional calculus and first-order logic. Topics covered include syntax, semantics, soundness, completeness, independence, normal forms, vertical paths through negation normal formulas, compactness, Smullyan's Unifying Principle, natural deduction, cut-elimination, semantic tableaux, Skolemization, Herbrand's Theorem, unification, duality, interpolation, and definability. The last three chapters of the book provide an introduction to type theory (higher-order logic). It is shown how various mathematical concepts can be formalized in this very expressive formal language. This expressive notation (...) facilitates proofs of the classical incompleteness and undecidability theorems which are very elegant and easy to understand. The discussion of semantics makes clear the important distinction between standard and nonstandard models which is so important in understanding puzzling phenomena such as the incompleteness theorems and Skolem's Paradox about countable models of set theory. Some of the numerous exercises require giving formal proofs. A computer program called ETPS which is available from the web facilitates doing and checking such exercises. Audience: This volume will be of interest to mathematicians, computer scientists, and philosophers in universities, as well as to computer scientists in industry who wish to use higher-order logic for hardware and software specification and verification. (shrink)
Michael Devitt has argued that Chomsky, along with many other Linguists and philosophers, is ignorant of the true nature of Generative Linguistics. In particular, Devitt argues that Chomsky and others wrongly believe the proper object of linguistic inquiry to be speakers' competences, rather than the languages that speakers are competent with. In return, some commentators on Devitt's work have returned the accusation, arguing that it is Devitt who is ignorant about Linguistics. In this note, I consider whether there (...) might be less to this apparent dispute than meets the eye. -/- . (shrink)
Philosophy of linguistics is the philosophy of science as applied to linguistics. This differentiates it sharply from the philosophy of language, traditionally concerned with matters of meaning and reference.
A history of logic -- Patterns of reasoning -- A language and its meaning -- A symbolic language -- 1850-1950 mathematical logic -- Modern symbolic logic -- Elements of set theory -- Sets, functions, relations -- Induction -- Turning machines -- Computability and decidability -- Propositional logic -- Syntax and proof systems -- Semantics of PL -- Soundness and completeness -- First order logic -- Syntax and proof systems of FOL -- Semantics of FOL -- More semantics -- Soundness (...) and completeness -- Why is first order logic "First Order"? (shrink)
Noted logician and philosopher addresses various forms of mathematical logic, discussing both theoretical underpinnings and practical applications. After historical survey, lucid treatment of set theory, model theory, recursion theory and constructivism and proof theory. Place of problems in development of theories of logic, logic’s relationship to computer science, more. Suitable for readers at many levels of mathematical sophistication. 3 appendixes. Bibliography. 1981 edition.
Recent experimental evidence from developmental psychology and cogni- tive neuroscience indicates that humans are equipped with unlearned elementary math- ematical skills. However, formal mathematics has properties that cannot be reduced to these elementary cognitive capacities. The question then arises how human beings cognitively deal with more advanced mathematical ideas. This paper draws on the extended mind thesis to suggest that mathematical symbols enable us to delegate some mathematical operations to the external environment. In this view, mathematical (...) symbols are not only used to express mathematical concepts—they are constitutive of the mathematical concepts themselves. Mathematical symbols are epistemic actions, because they enable us to represent concepts that are literally unthinkable with our bare brains. Using case-studies from the history of mathematics and from educational psychology, we argue for an intimate relationship between mathematical symbols and mathematical cognition. (shrink)
This paper concerns Alan Turing’s ideas about machines, mathematical methods of proof, and intelligence. By the late 1930s, Kurt Gödel and other logicians, including Turing himself, had shown that no finite set of rules could be used to generate all true mathematical statements. Yet according to Turing, there was no upper bound to the number of mathematical truths provable by intelligent human beings, for they could invent new rules and methods of proof. So, the output of a (...) human mathematician, for Turing, was not a computable sequence (i.e., one that could be generated by a Turing machine). Since computers only contained a finite number of instructions (or programs), one might argue, they could not reproduce human intelligence. Turing called this the “mathematical objection” to his view that machines can think. Logico-mathematical reasons, stemming from his own work, helped to convince Turing that it should be possible to reproduce human intelligence, and eventually compete with it, by developing the appropriate kind of digital computer. He felt it should be possible to program a computer so that it could learn or discover new rules, overcoming the limitations imposed by the incompleteness and undecidability results in the same way that human mathematicians presumably do. (shrink)
Proofs and Refutations is essential reading for all those interested in the methodology, the philosophy and the history of mathematics. Much of the book takes the form of a discussion between a teacher and his students. They propose various solutions to some mathematical problems and investigate the strengths and weaknesses of these solutions. Their discussion (which mirrors certain real developments in the history of mathematics) raises some philosophical problems and some problems about the nature of mathematical discovery or (...) creativity. Imre Lakatos is concerned throughout to combat the classical picture of mathematical development as a steady accumulation of established truths. He shows that mathematics grows instead through a richer, more dramatic process of the successive improvement of creative hypotheses by attempts to 'prove' them and by criticism of these attempts: the logic of proofs and refutations. (shrink)
The present paper argues that ‘mature mathematical formalisms’ play a central role in achieving representation via scientific models. A close discussion of two contemporary accounts of how mathematical models apply—the DDI account (according to which representation depends on the successful interplay of denotation, demonstration and interpretation) and the ‘matching model’ account—reveals shortcomings of each, which, it is argued, suggests that scientific representation may be ineliminably heterogeneous in character. In order to achieve a degree of unification that is compatible (...) with successful representation, scientists often rely on the existence of a ‘mature mathematical formalism’, where the latter refers to a—mathematically formulated and physically interpreted—notational system of locally applicable rules that derive from (but need not be reducible to) fundamental theory. As mathematical formalisms undergo a process of elaboration, enrichment, and entrenchment, they come to embody theoretical, ontological, and methodological commitments and assumptions. Since these are enshrined in the formalism itself, they are no longer readily obvious to either the novice or the proficient user. At the same time as formalisms constrain what may be represented, they also function as inferential and interpretative resources. (shrink)
It is alleged that the causal inertness of abstract objects and the causal conditions of certain naturalized epistemologies precludes the possibility of mathematical know- ledge. This paper rejects this alleged incompatibility, while also maintaining that the objects of mathematical beliefs are abstract objects, by incorporating a naturalistically acceptable account of ‘rational intuition.’ On this view, rational intuition consists in a non-inferential belief-forming process where the entertaining of propositions or certain contemplations results in true beliefs. This view is free (...) of any conditions incompatible with abstract objects, for the reason that it is not necessary that S stand in some causal relation to the entities in virtue of which p is true. Mathematical intuition is simply one kind of reliable process type, whose inputs are not abstract numbers, but rather, contemplations of abstract numbers. (shrink)
This lively introduction to mathematical logic, easily accessible to non-mathematicians, offers an historical survey, coverage of predicate calculus, model theory, Godel’s theorems, computability and recursivefunctions, consistency and independence in axiomatic set theory, and much more. Suggestions for Further Reading. Diagrams.
Undergraduate students with no prior classroom instruction in mathematical logic will benefit from this evenhanded multipart text by one of the centuries greatest authorities on the subject. Part I offers an elementary but thorough overview of mathematical logic of first order. The treatment does not stop with a single method of formulating logic; students receive instruction in a variety of techniques, first learning model theory (truth tables), then Hilbert-type proof theory, and proof theory handled through derived rules. Part (...) II supplements the material covered in Part I and introduces some of the newer ideas and the more profound results of logical research in the twentieth century. Subsequent chapters introduce the study of formal number theory, with surveys of the famous incompleteness and undecidability results of Godel, Church, Turing, and others. The emphasis in the final chapter reverts to logic, with examinations of Godel's completeness theorem, Gentzen's theorem, Skolem's paradox and nonstandard models of arithmetic, and other theorems. Unabridged republication of the edition published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, 1967. Preface. Bibliography. Theorem and Lemma Numbers: Pages. List of Postulates. Symbols and Notations. Index. (shrink)
Comprehensive account of constructive theory of first-order predicate calculus. Covers formal methods including algorithms and epi-theory, brief treatment of Markov’s approach to algorithms, elementary facts about lattices and similar algebraic systems, more. Philosophical and reflective as well as mathematical. Graduate-level course. 1963 ed. Exercises.
Robert Stalnaker has argued that mathematical information is information about the sentences and expressions of mathematics. I argue that this metalinguistic account is open to a variant of Alonzo Church's translation objection and that Stalnaker's attempt to get around this objection is not successful. If correct, this tells not only against Stalnaker's account of mathematical truths, but against any metalinguistic account of truths that are both necessary and informative.
This book deals with the need to rethink the aims and methods of contemporary linguistics. Orthodox linguists' discussions of linguistic form fail to exemplify how language users become language makers. Integrationist theory is used here as a solution to this basic problem within general linguistics. The book is aimed at an interdisciplinary readership, comprising those engaged in study, teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences, including linguistics, philosophy, sociology and psychology.
This introduction to rigorous mathematical logic is simple enough in both presentation and context for students of a wide range of ages and abilities. Starting with symbolizing sentences and sentential connectives, it proceeds to the rules of logical inference and sentential derivation, examines the concepts of truth and validity, and presents a series of truth tables. Subsequent topics include terms, predicates, and universal quantifiers; universal specification and laws of identity; axioms for addition; and universal generalization. Throughout the book, the (...) authors emphasize the pervasive and important problem of translating English sentences into logical or mathematical symbolism. 1964 edition. Index. (shrink)
Chihara here develops a mathematical system in which there are no existence assertions but only assertions of the constructibility of certain sorts of things. He utilizes this system in the analysis of the nature of mathematics, and discusses many recent works in the philosophy of mathematics from the viewpoint of the constructibility theory developed. This innovative analysis will appeal to mathematicians and philosophers of logic, mathematics, and science.
Wales uses languages with both regular (Welsh) and irregular (English) counting systems. Three groups of 6- and 8-year-old Welsh children with varying degrees of exposure to the Welsh language—those who spoke Welsh at both home and school; those who spoke Welsh only at home; and those who spoke only English—were given standardized tests of arithmetic and a test of understanding representations of two-digit numbers. Groups did not differ on the arithmetic tests, but both groups of Welsh speakers read and compared (...) 2-digit numbers more accurately than monolingual English children. A similar study was carried out with Tamil/English bilingual children in England. The Tamil counting system is more transparent than English but less so than Welsh or Chinese. Tamil-speaking children performed better than monolingual English-speaking children on one of the standardized arithmetic tests but did not differ in their comparison of two-digit numbers. Reasons for the findings are discussed. (shrink)
An influential position in the philosophy of biology claims that there are no biological laws, since any apparently biological generalization is either too accidental, fact-like or contingent to be named a law, or is simply reducible to physical laws that regulate electrical and chemical interactions taking place between merely physical systems. In the following I will stress a neglected aspect of the debate that emerges directly from the growing importance of mathematical models of biological phenomena. My main aim is (...) to defend, as well as reinforce, the view that there are indeed laws also in biology, and that their difference in stability, contingency or resilience with respect to physical laws is one of degrees, and not of kind. In order to reach this goal, in the next sections I will advance the following two arguments in favor of the existence of biological laws, both of which are meant to stress the similarity between physical and biological laws. (shrink)
This junior/senior level text is devoted to a study of first-order logic and its role in the foundations of mathematics: What is a proof? How can a proof be justified? To what extent can a proof be made a purely mechanical procedure? How much faith can we have in a proof that is so complex that no one can follow it through in a lifetime? The first substantial answers to these questions have only been obtained in this century. The most (...) striking results are contained in Goedel's work: First, it is possible to give a simple set of rules that suffice to carry out all mathematical proofs; but, second, these rules are necessarily incomplete - it is impossible, for example, to prove all true statements of arithmetic. The book begins with an introduction to first-order logic, Goedel's theorem, and model theory. A second part covers extensions of first-order logic and limitations of the formal methods. The book covers several advanced topics, not commonly treated in introductory texts, such as Trachtenbrot's undecidability theorem. Fraissé's elementary equivalence, and Lindstroem's theorem on the maximality of first-order logic. (shrink)
This article suggests that scientific philosophy, especially mathematical philosophy, might be one important way of doing philosophy in the future. Along the way, the article distinguishes between different types of scientific philosophy; it mentions some of the scientific methods that can serve philosophers; it aims to undermine some worries about mathematical philosophy; and it tries to make clear why in certain cases the application of mathematical methods is necessary for philosophical progress.
This edited volume offers ten new essays on semantics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of linguistics by top scholars in the field. Covering a wide range of topics, the collection is sure to be of interest to scholars in those areas as well as some philosophers of mind. Because of the diversity of topics and perspectives inherent in the collection, readers will find both exposition and debate among the contributors.
Figures of Thought looks at how mathematical works can be read as texts and examines their textual strategies. David Reed offers the first sustained and critical attempt to find a consistent argument or narrative thread in mathematical texts. Reed selects mathematicians from a range of historical periods and compares their approaches to organizing and arguing texts, using an extended commentary on Euclid's Elements as a central structuring framework. He develops fascinating interpretations of mathematicians' work throughout history, from Descartes (...) to Hilbert, Kronecker, Dedekind, Weil and Grothendieck. Reed traces the implications of this approach to the understanding of the history and development of mathematics. (shrink)
Buzaglo (as well as Manders (J Philos LXXXVI(10):553–562, 1989)) shows the way in which it is rational even for a realist to consider ‘development of concepts’, and documents the theory by numerous examples from the area of mathematics. A natural question arises: in which way can the phenomenon of expanding mathematical concepts influence empirical concepts? But at the same time a more general question can be formulated: in which way do the mathematical concepts influence empirical concepts? What I (...) want to show in the present paper can be described as follows. The problem articulated by Buzaglo deserves some semantic refinements. Following explications are needed: What is meaning? (In particular: What are concepts?) What are questions? (Or, equivalently: Semantics of interrogative sentences.) -/- Further, a useful notion will be the notion of problem. Taking over the notion of conceptual system from Materna (Conceptual Systems. Logos, Berlin, 2004) and using Tichý’s Transparent intensional logic (TIL) I can try to solve the problem of the relation between mathematical and empirical concepts (not only for the case of expanding some mathematical concepts). (shrink)
Mathematics often seems incomprehensible, a melee of strange symbols thrown down on a page. But while formulae, theorems, and proofs can involve highly complex concepts, the math becomes transparent when viewed as part of a bigger picture. What Is a Number? provides that picture. Robert Tubbs examines how mathematical concepts like number, geometric truth, infinity, and proof have been employed by artists, theologians, philosophers, writers, and cosmologists from ancient times to the modern era. Looking at a broad range of (...) topics -- from Pythagoras's exploration of the connection between harmonious sounds and mathematical ratios to the understanding of time in both Western and pre-Columbian thought -- Tubbs ties together seemingly disparate ideas to demonstrate the relationship between the sometimes elusive thought of artists and philosophers and the concrete logic of mathematicians. He complements his textual arguments with diagrams and illustrations. This historic and thematic study refutes the received wisdom that mathematical concepts are esoteric and divorced from other intellectual pursuits -- revealing them instead as dynamic and intrinsic to almost every human endeavor. (shrink)
Mathematical Logic for Computer Science is a mathematics textbook with theorems and proofs, but the choice of topics has been guided by the needs of computer science students. The method of semantic tableaux provides an elegant way to teach logic that is both theoretically sound and yet sufficiently elementary for undergraduates. To provide a balanced treatment of logic, tableaux are related to deductive proof systems.The logical systems presented are:- Propositional calculus (including binary decision diagrams);- Predicate calculus;- Resolution;- Hoare logic;- (...) Z;- Temporal logic.Answers to exercises (for instructors only) as well as Prolog source code for algorithms may be found via the Springer London web site: http://www.springer.com/978-1-85233-319-5 Mordechai Ben-Ari is an associate professor in the Department of Science Teaching of the Weizmann Institute of Science. He is the author of numerous textbooks on concurrency, programming languages and logic, and has developed software tools for teaching concurrency. In 2004, Ben-Ari received the ACM/SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education. (shrink)
This groundbreaking collection, the most thorough treatment of the philosophy of linguistics ever published, brings together philosophers, scientists and historians to map out both the foundational assumptions set during the second half of ...
Communication is an important feature of the living world that mainstream biology fails to adequately deal with. Applying two main disciplines can be contemplated to fill in this gap: semiotics and information theory. Semiotics is a philosophical discipline mainly concerned with meaning; applying it to life already originated in biosemiotics. Information theory is a mathematical discipline coming from engineering which has literal communication as purpose. Biosemiotics and information theory are thus concerned with distinct and complementary possible meanings of the (...) word ‘communication’. Since literal communication needs to be secured so as to enable semantics being communicated, information theory is a necessary prerequisite to biosemiotics. Moreover, heredity is a purely literal communication process of capital importance fully relevant to literal communication, hence to information theory. A short introduction to discrete information theory is proposed, which is centred on the concept of redundancy and its use in order to make sequences resilient to errors. Information theory has been an extremely active and fruitful domain of researches and the motor of the tremendous progress of communication engineering in the last decades. Its possible connections with semantics and linguistics are briefly considered. Its applications to biology are suggested especially as regards error-correcting codes which are mandatory for securing the conservation of genomes. Biology needs information theory so biologists and communication engineers should closely collaborate. (shrink)
Reasoning under uncertainty, that is, making judgements with only partial knowledge, is a major theme in artificial intelligence. Professor Paris provides here an introduction to the mathematical foundations of the subject. It is suited for readers with some knowledge of undergraduate mathematics but is otherwise self-contained, collecting together the key results on the subject, and formalising within a unified framework the main contemporary approaches and assumptions. The author has concentrated on giving clear mathematical formulations, analyses, justifications and consequences (...) of the main theories about uncertain reasoning, so the book can serve as a textbook for beginners or as a starting point for further basic research into the subject. It will be welcomed by graduate students and research workers in logic, philosophy, and computer science as a textbook for beginners, a starting point for further basic research into the subject, and not least, an account of how mathematics and artificial intelligence can complement and enrich each other. (shrink)
In light of the sharp linguistic turn philosophy has taken in this century, this collection provides a much-needed and long-overdue reference for philosophical discussion. The first collection of its kind, it explores questions of the nature and existence of linguistic objects--including sentences and meanings--and considers the concept of truth in linguistics. The status of linguistics and the nature of language now take a central place in discussions of the nature of philosophy; the essays in this volume both inform (...) these discussions and lay the groundwork for further examination. (shrink)
Lately, philosophers of mathematics have been exploring the notion of mathematical explanation within mathematics. This project is supposed to be analogous to the search for the correct analysis of scientific explanation. I argue here that given the way philosophers have been using “explanation,” the term is not applicable to mathematics as it is in science.
The published works of scientists often conceal the cognitive processes that led to their results. Scholars of mathematical practice must therefore seek out less obvious sources. This article analyzes a widely circulated mathematical joke, comprising a list of spurious proof types. An account is proposed in terms of argumentation schemes: stereotypical patterns of reasoning, which may be accompanied by critical questions itemizing possible lines of defeat. It is argued that humor is associated with risky forms of inference, which (...) are essential to creative mathematics. The components of the joke are explicated by argumentation schemes devised for application to topic-neutral reasoning. These in turn are classified under seven headings: retroduction, citation, intuition, meta-argument, closure, generalization, and definition. Finally, the wider significance of this account for the cognitive science of mathematics is discussed. (shrink)
We describe recent developments in research on mathematical practice and cognition and outline the nine contributions in this special issue of topiCS. We divide these contributions into those that address (a) mathematical reasoning: patterns, levels, and evaluation; (b) mathematical concepts: evolution and meaning; and (c) the number concept: representation and processing.
This article looks at recent work in cognitive science on mathematical cognition from the perspective of history and philosophy of mathematical practice. The discussion is focused on the work of Lakoff and Núñez, because this is the first comprehensive account of mathematical cognition that also addresses advanced mathematics and its history. Building on a distinction between mathematics as it is presented in textbooks and as it presents itself to the researcher, it is argued that the focus of (...) cognitive analyses of historical developments of mathematics has been primarily on the former, even if they claim to be about the latter. (shrink)
A comprehensive one-year graduate (or advanced undergraduate) course in mathematical logic and foundations of mathematics. No previous knowledge of logic is required; the book is suitable for self-study. Many exercises (with hints) are included.
Presents the latest research on how reasoning with analogies, metaphors, metonymies, and images can facilitate mathematical understanding. For math education, educational psychology, and cognitive science scholars.
As hopes that generative linguistics might solve philosophical problems about the mind give way to disillusionment, old problems concerning the relationship between linguistics and philosophy survive unresolved. This collection surveys the historical engagement between the two, and opens up avenues for further reflection. In Part 1 two contrasting views are presented of the interface nowadays called 'philosophy of linguistics'. Part 2 gives a detailed historical survey of the engagement of analytic philosophy with linguistic problems during the present (...) century, and sees the imposition by philosophers of an 'exploratory' model of thinking as a major challenge to the discipline of linguistics. Part 3 poses the problem of whether linguistics is dedicated to describing independently existing linguistic structures or to imposing its own structures on linguistic phenomena. In Part 4 Harris points out some similarities in the way an eminent linguist and an eminent philosopher invoke the analogy between languages and games; while Taylor analyses the rationale of our metalinguistic claims and their relationship to linguistic theorizing. Providing a wide range of views and ideas this book will be of interest to all those interested and involved in the interface of philosophy and linguistics. (shrink)
Authoritative and wide-ranging, this book examines the history of western linguistics over a 2000-year timespan, from its origins in ancient Greece up to the crucial moment of change in the Renaissance that laid the foundations of modern linguistics. Some of today's burning questions about language date back a long way: in 1400 BC Plato was asking how words relate to reality. Other questions go back just a few generations, such as our interest in the mechanisms of language change, (...) or in the social factors that shape the way we speak. Vivien Law explores how ideas about language over the centuries have changed to reflect changing modes of thinking. A survey chapter brings the coverage of the book up to the present day. Classified bibliographies and chapters on research resources and the qualities the historian of linguistics needs to develop, provide the reader with the tools to go further. (shrink)
Q.E.D. presents some of the most famous mathematical proofs in a charming book that will appeal to nonmathematicians and math experts alike. Grasp in an instant why Pythagoras’s theorem must be correct. Follow the ancient Chinese proof of the volume formula for the frustrating frustum, and Archimedes’ method for finding the volume of a sphere. Discover the secrets of pi and why, contrary to popular belief, squaring the circle really is possible. Study the subtle art of mathematical domino (...) tumbling, and find out how slicing cones helped save a city and put a man on the moon. (shrink)
Suitable for advanced undergraduates and graduate students from diverse fields and varying backgrounds, this self-contained course in mathematical logic features numerous exercises that vary in difficulty. The author is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin.
An excellent introduction to mathematical logic, this book provides readers with a sound knowledge of the most important approaches to the subject, stressing the use of logical methods in attacking nontrivial problems. It covers the logic of classes, of propositions, of propositional functions, and the general syntax of language, with a brief introduction that also illustrates applications to so-called undecidability and incompleteness theorems. Other topics include the simple proof of the completeness of the theory of combinations, Church's theorem on (...) the recursive unsolvability of the decision problem for the restricted function calculus, and the demonstrable properties of a formal system as a criterion for its acceptability. 1950 ed. (shrink)
This book presents a comprehensive treatment of basic mathematical logic. The author's aim is to make exact the vague, intuitive notions of natural number, preciseness, and correctness, and to invent a method whereby these notions can be communicated to others and stored in the memory. He adopts a symbolic language in which ideas about natural numbers can be stated precisely and meaningfully, and then investigates the properties and limitations of this language. The treatment of mathematical concepts in the (...) main body of the text is rigorous, but, a section of 'historical remarks' traces the evolution of the ideas presented in each chapter. Sources of the original accounts of these developments are listed in the bibliography. (shrink)
This fundamental and straightforward text addresses a weakness observed among present-day students, namely a lack of familiarity with formal proof. Beginning with the idea of mathematical proof and the need for it, associated technical and logical skills are developed with care and then brought to bear on the core material of analysis in such a lucid presentation that the development reads naturally and in a straightforward progression. Retaining the core text, the second edition has additional worked examples which users (...) have indicated a need for, in addition to more emphasis on how analysis can be used to tell the accuracy of the approximations to the quantities of interest which arise in analytical limits. (shrink)
Lucid, non-intimidating presentation of propositional logic, propositional calculus and predicate logic by Russian scholar. Topics of concern in a variety of fields, including computer science, systems analysis, linguistics, etc. Accessible to high school students; valuable review of fundamentals for professionals. Exercises (no solutions). Preface. Three appendices. Indices. Bibliogaphy. 14 figures.
This original and exciting study offers a completely new perspective on the philosophy of mathematics. Most philosophers of mathematics try to show either that the sort of knowledge mathematicians have is similiar to the sort of knowledge specialists in the empirical sciences have or that the kind of knowledge mathematicians have, although apparently about objects such as numbers, sets, and so on, isn't really about those sorts of things as well. Jody Azzouni argues that mathematical knowledge really is a (...) special kind of knowledge with its own special means of gathering evidence. He analyses the linguistic pitfalls and misperceptions philosophers in this field are often prone to, and explores the misapplications of epistemic principles from the empirical sciences to the exact sciences. What emerges is a picture of mathematics both sensitive to mathematical practice, and to the ontological and epistemological issues that concern philosophers. (shrink)
Graduate-level historical study is ideal for students intending to specialize in the topic, as well as those who only need a general treatment. Part I discusses traditional and symbolic logic. Part II explores the foundations of mathematics, emphasizing Hilbert’s metamathematics. Part III focuses on the philosophy of mathematics. Each chapter has extensive supplementary notes; a detailed appendix charts modern developments.
Stimulating, thought-provoking analysis of a number of the most interesting intellectual inconsistencies in mathematics, physics and language. Delightful elucidations of methods for misunderstanding the real world of experiment (Aristotle’s Circle paradox), being led astray by algebra (De Morgan’s paradox) and other mind-benders. Some high school algebra and geometry is assumed; any other math needed is developed in text. Reprint of 1982 ed.
For the past three decades linguistic theory has been based on the assumption that sentences are interpreted and constructed by the brain by means of computational processes analogous to those of a serial-digital computer. The recent interest in devices based on the neural network or parallel distributed processor (PDP) principle raises the possibility ("eliminative connectionism") that such devices may ultimately replace the S-D computer as the model for the interpretation and generation of language by the brain. An analysis of the (...) differences between the two models suggests that the effect of such a development would be to steer linguistic theory towards a return to the empiricism and behaviorism which prevailed before it was driven by Chomsky towards nativism and mentalism. Linguists, however, will not be persuaded to return to such a theory unless and until it can deal with the phenomenon of novel sentence construction as effectively as its nativist/mentalist rival. (shrink)
There were in the past, just as there are in the present, several diverse attempts to establish a unique theory capable of identifying in all natural languages a similar, invariable basic structure of a logical nature. If such a theory exists, then there must be principles that rule the functioning of these languages and they must have a logical origin. Based on a work by the French linguist, Oswald Ducrot, entitled D’un mauvais usage de la logique , this paper aims (...) to present in a concise manner two of the above mentioned attempts. They were elaborated in diverse epochs and different arguments were put forward to support them. The first attempt was in XVII century France and its theoretic basis was the renowned ‘Port-Royal Logic’. The second attempt is recent and its theoretic support comes from Contemporary Logic. DOI: 10.5007/1808-1711.2011v15n1p111. (shrink)
Logic forms the basis of mathematics and is a fundamental part of any mathematics course. This book provides students with a clear and accessible introduction to this important subject, using the concept of model as the main focus and covering a wide area of logic. The chapters of the book cover propositional calculus, boolean algebras, predicate calculus and completelness theorems with answeres to all of the excercises and the end of the volume. This is an ideal introduction to mathematics and (...) logic for the advanced undergraduate student. (shrink)
After reviewing some major features of theinteractions between Linguistics and Philosophyin recent years, I suggest that the depth and breadthof current inquiry into semanticshas brought this subject into contact both with questionsof the nature of linguistic competence and with modern andtraditional philosophical study of the nature ofour thoughts, and the problems of metaphysics.I see this development as promising for thefuture of both subjects.
This paper investigates the issue whether metaphors have a metaphorical or secondary meaning and how this question is related to the borderline between philosophy and linguistics. On examples by V. Woolf and H. W. Auden, it will be shown that metaphor accomplishes something more than its literal meaning expresses and this “more” cannot be captured by any secondary meaning. What is essential in the metaphor is not a secondary meaning but an internal relation between a metaphorical proposition and a (...) description of its effects. In order to understand metaphors, we have to share an ability to construe metaphorical meanings at once. The aim of this ability is to uncover an internal relation, which lies behind a particular metaphor. (shrink)
In his book The Value of Science Poincaré criticizes a certain view on the growth of mathematical knowledge: “The advance of science is not comparable to the changes of a city, where old edifices are pitilessly torn down to give place to new ones, but to the continuous evolution of zoological types which develop ceaselessly and end by becoming unrecognizable to the common sight, but where an expert eye finds always traces of the prior work of the centuries past” (...) (Poincaré 1958, p. 14). The view criticized by Poincaré corresponds to Frege’s idea that the development of mathematics can be described as an activity of system building, where each system is supposed to provide a complete representation for a certain mathematical field and must be pitilessly torn down whenever it fails to achieve such an aim. All facts concerning any mathematical field must be fully organized in a given system because “in mathematics we must always strive after a system that is complete in itself” (Frege 1979, p. 279). Frege is aware that systems introduce rigidity and are in conflict with the actual development of mathematics because “in history we have development; a system is static”, but he sticks to the view that “science only comes to fruition in a system” because “only through a system can we achieve complete clarity and order” (Frege 1979, p. 242). He even goes so far as saying that “no science can be so enveloped in obscurity as mathematics, if it fails to construct a system” (Frege 1979, p. 242). By ‘system’ Frege means ‘axiomatic system’. In his view, in mathematics we cannot rest content with the fact that “we are convinced of something, but we must strive to obtain a clear insight into the network of inferences that support our conviction”, that is, to find “what the primitive truths are”, because “only in this way can a system be constructed” (Frege 1979, p. 205). The primitive truths are the principles of the axiomatic system. Frege’s stress on the role of systems also determines his views on the growth of mathematical knowledge.. (shrink)
There is currently much interest in bringing together the tradition of categorial grammar, and especially the Lambek calculus, with the recent paradigm of linear logic to which it has strong ties. One active research area is designing non-commutative versions of linear logic (Abrusci, 1995; Retoré, 1993) which can be sensitive to word order while retaining the hypothetical reasoning capabilities of standard (commutative) linear logic (Dalrymple et al., 1995). Some connections between the Lambek calculus and computations in groups have long been (...) known (van Benthem, 1986) but no serious attempt has been made to base a theory of linguistic processing solely on group structure. This paper presents such a model, and demonstrates the connection between linguistic processing and the classical algebraic notions of non-commutative free group, conjugacy, and group presentations. A grammar in this model, or G-grammar is a collection of lexical expressions which are products of logical forms, phonological forms, and inverses of those. Phrasal descriptions are obtained by forming products of lexical expressions and by cancelling contiguous elements which are inverses of each other. A G-grammar provides a symmetrical specification of the relation between a logical form and a phonological string that is neutral between parsing and generation modes. We show how the G-grammar can be oriented for each of the modes by reformulating the lexical expressions as rewriting rules adapted to parsing or generation, which then have strong decidability properties (inherent reversibility). We give examples showing the value of conjugacy for handling long-distance movement and quantifier scoping both in parsing and generation. The paper argues that by moving from the free monoid over a vocabulary V (standard in formal language theory) to the free group over V, deep affinities between linguistic phenomena and classical algebra come to the surface, and that the consequences of tapping the mathematical connections thus established can be considerable. (shrink)
Quantifiers in Language and Logic (QLL) is a major contribution to natural language semantics, specifically to quantification. It integrates the extensive recent work on quantifiers in logic and linguistics. It also presents new observations and results. QLL should help linguists understand the mathematical generalizations we can make about natural language quantification, and it should interest logicians by presenting an extensive array of quantifiers that lie beyond the pale of classical logic. Here we focus on those aspects of QLL (...) we judge to be of specific interest to linguists, and we contribute a few musings of our own, as one mark of a worthy publication is whether it stimulates the reader to seek out new observations, and QLL does. QLL is long and fairly dense, so we make no attempt to cover all the points it makes. But QLL has a topic index, a special symbols index and two tables of contents, a detailed one and an overview one, all of which help make it user friendly. QLL is presented in four parts: I, The Logical Conception of Quantifiers and Quantification with an introductory section Quantification . II, Quantifiers of Natural Language , the most extensive section in the book and of the most direct interest to linguists. III, Beginnings of a Theory of Expressiveness, Translation, and Formalization introduces notions of expressive power and definability, and IV, presents recent work and techniques concerning quantifier definability over finite domains, making accessible to linguists recent work in finite model theory. (shrink)
In his classic work The Mind and its Place in Nature published in 1925 at the height of the development of quantum mechanics but several years after the chemists Lewis and Langmuir had already laid the foundations of the modern theory of valence with the introduction of the covalent bond, the analytic philosopher C. D. Broad argued for the emancipation of chemistry from the crass physicalism that led physicists then and later—with support from a rabblement of philosophers who knew as (...) much about chemistry as etymologists—to believe that chemistry reduced to physics. Here Broad’s thesis is recast in terms more familiar to chemists. In the hard sell of particle physics, several prominent figures in chemistry—Hoffmann, Primas, and Pauling—have had their views interpreted to imply that they were sympathetic to greedy reductionism when in fact they were not. Indeed, being chemists without physicists as alter egos, they could not but side with Broad’s contention that chemistry, as a science that deals primarily in emergent phenomena which are beyond the purview of physicalism, owes no acquiescence to particle physics and its ethereal wares. Historically, among the most widely used expediencies in chemistry and materials science are additivity or mixture rules and their cohort transferability, all of which are devised and used under the mantle of naive reductionism. Here it is argued that while the transfer of functional groups between molecules works empirically to an extent, it is strictly outlawed by the no-cloning theorem of quantum mechanics. Several illustrative examples related to chemistry’s irreducibility to physics are presented and discussed. The failure of naive reductionism exhibited by the deep-inelastic scattering of leptons by A > 2 nuclei is traced to the same flawed reasoning that was the original basis of Moffitt’s ‘atoms in molecules’ hypothesis, the neglect of context, nuclei in the case of high-energy physics and molecules in the case of chemistry. A non-exhaustive list of other contexts from physics, chemistry, and molecular biology evidencing similar departures from the ideal of additivity or reductionism is provided for the perusal of philosophers. Had the call by the mathematician J. T. Schwartz for developments in mathematicallinguistics possessed of a less single, less literal, and less simple-minded nature been met, perhaps it might have persuaded scientists to abandon their regressive fixation with unphysical reductionism and to adapt to new methodologies that engender a more nuanced handling of ubiquitous emergent phenomena as they arise in Nature than is the case today. (shrink)
Wittgenstein is accused by Dummett of radical conventionalism, the view that the necessity of any statement is a matter of express linguistic convention, i.e., a decision. This conventionalism is alleged to follow, in Wittgenstein's middle period, from his 'concept modification thesis', that a proof significantly changes the sense of the proposition it aims to prove. I argue for the assimilation of this thesis to Wittgenstein's 'no-conjecture thesis' concerning mathematical statements. Both flow from a strong verificationist view of mathematics held (...) by Wittgenstein in his middle period, and this also explains his views on the law of excluded middle and consistency. Strong verificationism is central to making sense of Wittgenstein's middle-period philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
The beginning of this century hailed a new paradigm in linguistics, the paradigm brought about by de Saussure's Cours de Linguistique Genérále and subsequently elaborated by Jakobson, Hjelmslev and other linguists. It seemed that the linguistics of this century was destined to be structuralistic. However, half of the century later a brand new paradigm was introduced by Chomsky's Syntactic Structures followed by Montague's formalization of semantics. This new turn has brought linguistics surprisingly close to mathematics and logic, (...) and has facilitated a direct practical exploitation of linguistic theory by computer science. (shrink)
Chomsky’s highly influential Syntactic Structures ( SS ) has been much praised its originality, explicitness, and relevance for subsequent cognitive science. Such claims are greatly overstated. SS contains no proof that English is beyond the power of finite state description (it is not clear that Chomsky ever gave a sound mathematical argument for that claim). The approach advocated by SS springs directly out of the work of the mathematical logician Emil Post on formalizing proof, but few linguists are (...) aware of this, because Post’s papers are not cited. Chomsky’s extensions to Post’s systems are not clearly defined, and the arguments for their necessity are weak. Linguists have also overlooked Post’s proofs of the first two theorems about effects of rule format restrictions on generative capacity, published more than ten years before SS was published. (shrink)
Evolution produced many species whose members are pre-programmed with almost all the competences and knowledge they will ever need. Others appear to start with very little and learn what they need, but appearances can deceive. I conjecture that evolution produced powerful innate meta-knowledge about a class of environments containing 3- D structures and processes involving materials of many kinds. In humans and several other species these innate learning mechanisms seem initially to use exploration techniques to capture a variety of useful (...) generalisations after which there is a "phase transition" in which learnt generalisations are displaced by a new generative architecture that allows novel situations and problems to be dealt with by reasoning -- a pre-cursor to explicit mathematical theorem proving in topology, geometry, arithmetic, and kinematics. This process seems to occur in some non-human animals and in preverbal human toddlers, but is clearest in the switch from pattern-based to syntax-based language use. The discovery of non-linguistic toddler theorems has largely gone unnoticed, though Piaget investigated some of the phenomena, and creative problem solving in some other animals also provides clues. A later evolutionary development seems to have enabled humans to cope with domains that involve both regularities and exceptions, explaining "U-shaped" language learning. Only humans appear to be able to develop meta-meta-competences needed for teaching learnt "theorems" and their proofs. I'll sketch a speculative theory, present examples, and propose a research programme, reducing the 'G' in AGI, while promising increased power in return. (shrink)
It remains to summarize the contributions which each of the three disciplines discussed here is making toward the development of a science of man. "Significs" makes a study of the effects on human behavior of the linguistic aspects of the evaluative process, the most distinctly human aspect of the behavior of the human organism. "Mathematical Biophysics" seeks to describe the events associated with evaluative processes in physico-mathematical terms. "Cybernetics" is discovering important invariants common to these processes and others, (...) particularly those observed in man-made machines and in situations which lend themselves to description in thermo-dynamic or statistical (order -- chaos) terms. (shrink)
One of the cardinal assumptions about the nature of grammar is that it is a formal system, meaning that the operations and symbols in the grammar should have a precise meaning, so that one can tell precisely how it functions, and whether a given structure is in fact created by the grammar. The issue of how much information is available to the grammar, viewed as a computational device that computes structures, is called the issue of computational complexity. The computational powers (...) of various grammars, and the capacity of recognition devices to characterize as licit or not the structures that they generate, has been the province of mathematicallinguistics, but has also occasionally been felt to have implications for empirical syntactic theory. One central question that has raised its head over the years is the question of whether or not grammar ( which is now referred to as CHL, for Computation of Human Language (Chomsky (1995)) is Markovian, an issue first raised in Chomsky (1957). For a computational device to be Markovian, it can only make reference to the current state that the device is in, when deciding what the next state of the device can be; it cannot, for example, make reference to alternative states, earlier states, future states, or , as a consequence of its being a formal system, factors outside of the computational device. (shrink)