Synthese 200 (3):1-28 (2022)

Authors
Landon D. C. Elkind
Western Kentucky University
Abstract
Interactive theorem provers might seem particularly impractical in the history of philosophy. Journal articles in this discipline are generally not formalized. Interactive theorem provers involve a learning curve for which the payoffs might seem minimal. In this article I argue that interactive theorem provers have already demonstrated their potential as a useful tool for historians of philosophy; I do this by highlighting examples of work where this has already been done. Further, I argue that interactive theorem provers can continue to be useful tools for historians of philosophy in the future; this claim is defended through a more conceptual analysis of what historians of philosophy do that identifies argument reconstruction as a core activity of such practitioners. It is then shown that interactive theorem provers can assist in this core practice by a description of what interactive theorem provers are and can do. If this is right, then computer verification for historians of philosophy is in the offing.
Keywords Formal methods  Formalization  History of philosophy  Interactive theorem provers  Metaphilosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-022-03678-y
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References found in this work BETA

Radical Interpretation.Donald Davidson - 1973 - Dialectica 27 (1):314-328.
Reason and Morality.Alan Gewirth - 1968 - University of Chicago Press.
Radical Interpretation.Donald Davidson - 1973 - Dialectica 27 (3-4):313-328.
Principia Mathematica.A. N. Whitehead & B. Russell - 1927 - Erkenntnis 2 (1):73-75.
Principia mathematica.A. N. Whitehead & B. Russell - 1910-1913 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 19 (2):19-19.

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