On the mathematical nature of logic, featuring P. Bernays and K. Gödel


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The paper examines the interrelationship between mathematics and logic, arguing that a central characteristic of each has an essential role within the other. The first part is a reconstruction of and elaboration on Paul Bernays’ argument, that mathematics and logic are based on different directions of abstraction from content, and that mathematics, at its core it is a study of formal structures. The notion of a study of structure is clarified by the examples of Hilbert’s work on the axiomatization of geometry and Hilbert et al.’s formalist proof theory. It is further argued that the structural aspect of logic puts it under the purview of the mathematical, analogously to how the deductive nature of mathematics puts it under the purview of logic. This is then linked, in the second part, to certain aspects of Gödel’s critique of Carnap’s conventionalism, that ‘mere syntax’ cannot capture the full content of mathematics, which is revealed to be closely related to the characteristic of mathematics argued for by Bernays. Finally, this is connected with Gödel’s latter-day views about two kinds of formality, intensional and extensional, and the relationship between them.
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What Does It Mean to Say That Logic is Formal?John MacFarlane - 2000 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
The Different Ways in Which Logic is (Said to Be) Formal.Catarina Dutilh Novaes - 2011 - History and Philosophy of Logic 32 (4):303 - 332.
Intellectual Autobiography.Rudolf Carnap & Paul Arthur Schilpp - 1971 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 36 (1):178-179.
A Logical Journey. From Gödel to Philosophy.Hao Wang - 1998 - Philosophy 73 (285):495-504.

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