Most current work in epistemology deals with the evaluation and justification of information already acquired. In this book, Jaakko Hintikka instead discusses the more important problem of how knowledge is acquired in the first place. His model of information-seeking is the old Socratic method of questioning, which has been generalized and brought up-to-date through the logical theory of questions and answers that he has developed. Hintikka also argues that philosophers' quest for a definition of knowledge is ill-conceived and that the (...) entire notion of knowledge should be replaced by the concept of information. He offers an analysis of the different meanings of the concept of information and of their interrelations. The result is a new and illuminating approach to the field of epistemology. (shrink)
This book, written by one of philosophy's pre-eminent logicians, argues that many of the basic assumptions common to logic, philosophy of mathematics and metaphysics are in need of change. It is therefore a book of critical importance to logical theory. Jaakko Hintikka proposes a new basic first-order logic and uses it to explore the foundations of mathematics. This new logic enables logicians to express on the first-order level such concepts as equicardinality, infinity, and truth in the same language. The famous (...) impossibility results by Gödel and Tarski that have dominated the field for the last sixty years turn out to be much less significant than has been thought. All of ordinary mathematics can in principle be done on this first-order level, thus dispensing with the existence of sets and other higher-order entities. (shrink)
The modern notion of the axiomatic method developed as a part of the conceptualization of mathematics starting in the nineteenth century. The basic idea of the method is the capture of a class of structures as the models of an axiomatic system. The mathematical study of such classes of structures is not exhausted by the derivation of theorems from the axioms but includes normally the metatheory of the axiom system. This conception of axiomatization satisfies the crucial requirement that the derivation (...) of theorems from axioms does not produce new information in the usual sense of the term called depth information. It can produce new information in a different sense of information called surface information. It is argued in this paper that the derivation should be based on a model-theoretical relation of logical consequence rather than derivability by means of mechanical (recursive) rules. Likewise completeness must be understood by reference to a model-theoretical consequence relation. A correctly understood notion of axiomatization does not apply to purely logical theories. In the latter the only relevant kind of axiomatization amounts to recursive enumeration of logical truths. First-order “axiomatic” set theories are not genuine axiomatizations. The main reason is that their models are structures of particulars, not of sets. Axiomatization cannot usually be motivated epistemologically, but it is related to the idea of explanation. (shrink)
Several of the so-called “fallacies” in Aristotle are not in fact mistaken inference-types, but mistakes or breaches of rules in the questioning games which were practiced in the Academy and in the Lyceum. Hence the entire Aristotelian theory of “fallacies” ought to be studied by reference to the author's interrogative model of inquiry, based on his theory of questions and answers, rather than as a part of the theory of inference. Most of the “fallacies” mentioned by Aristotle can in fact (...) be diagnosed by means of the interrogative model, including petitio principii, multiple questions, “babbling’, etc., and so can Aristotle's alleged anticipation of the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem. The entire Aristotelian conception of inquiry is an interrogative one. Deductive conclusions caught Aristotle's attention in the form of answers that every rational interlocutor must give, assuming only his own earlier answers. Several features of Aristotle's methodology can be understood by means of the interrogative model, including the role of endoxa in it. Theoretically, there is also considerable leeway as to whether “fallacies” are conceived of as mistakes in questioning or as breaches of the rules that govern questioning games. (shrink)
One of the characteristic features of contemporary logic is that it incorporates the Frege-Russell thesis according to which verbs for being are multiply ambiguous. This thesis was not accepted before the nineteenth century. In Aristotle existence could not serve alone as a predicate term. However, it could be a part of the force of the predicate term, depending on the context. For Kant existence could not even be a part of the force of the predicate term. Hence, after Kant, existence (...) was left homeless. It found a home in the algebra of logic in which the operators corresponding to universal and particular judgments were treated as duals, and universal judgments were taken to be relative to some universe of discourse. Because of the duality, existential quantifier expressions came to express existence. The orphaned notion of existence thus found a new home in the existential quantifier. (shrink)
The so-called New Theory of Reference (Marcus, Kripke etc.) is inspired by the insight that in modal and intensional contexts quantifiers presuppose nondescriptive unanalyzable identity criteria which do not reduce to any descriptive conditions. From this valid insight the New Theorists fallaciously move to the idea that free singular terms can exhibit a built-in direct reference and that there is even a special class of singular terms (proper names) necessarily exhibiting direct reference. This fallacious move has been encouraged by a (...) mistaken belief in the substitutional interpretation of quantifiers, by the myth of thede re reference, and a mistaken assimilation of direct reference to ostensive (perspectival) identification. Thede dicto vs.de re contrast does not involve direct reference, being merely a matter of rule-ordering (scope).The New Theorists' thesis of the necessity of identities of directly referred-to individuals is a consequence of an unmotivated and arbitrary restriction they tacitly impose on the identification of individuals. (shrink)
In order to be able to express all possible patterns of dependence and independence between variables, we have to replace the traditional first-order logic by independence-friendly (IF) logic. Our natural concept of truth for a quantificational sentence S says that all the Skolem functions for S exist. This conception of truth for a sufficiently rich IF first-order language can be expressed in the same language. In a first-order axiomatic set theory, one can apparently express this same concept in set-theoretical terms, (...) since the existence of functions can be expressed there. Because of Tarski's theorem, this is impossible. Hence there must exist set-theoretical statements, even provable ones, which are said to be true in first-order models of axiomatic set theory but whose Skolem functions do not all exist. Hence there are provable sentences in axiomatic set theory that are false in accordance with our ordinary conceptions of set-theoretical truth. Such counter-intuitive propositions have been known to exist, but they have been blamed on the peculiarities of very large sets. It is argued here that this explanation is not correct and that there are intuitively false theorems not involving very large sets. Hence the provability or unprovability of a set-theoretical statement, e.g. of the continuum hypothesis (CH) in axiomatic set theory is not necessarily relevant to the truth of CH. (shrink)
The world of philosophy can perhaps be seen as a microcosm of the world at large. In the course of the last few decades, the world has seen the collapse of the communist system of Russia, a major crisis of the free market economy in the USA, Europe and Japan, and massive economic changes in China. One perspective on contemporary philosophical research is reached by asking what crises the major philosophical traditions, if not literally “systems”, are likewise undergoing and what (...) can be done to find a road ahead. What might a “stimulus package” for philosophy be like (except for inevitably being controversial)? (shrink)
The notion of scope as it relates to a model of logical form is discussed. The inability of the accepted definition of scope to account for the contrast between priority scope - the logical priority of different quantifiers & other logical notions via rule ordering - & binding scope - the identification of the connection between variables of quantification & a particular quantifier - is demonstrated. The semantic ambiguity of this dichotomy of scope is explored via examination of donkey sentences. (...) A formal representation of this dichotomy is suggested. The government-binding approach & principle of compositionality that handle scope relations via the logical form is rejected due to the complexity of the mechanism by which syntactic form results in logical forms. A discourse representational approach is also rejected. It is concluded that the interaction of syntax & semantics is instead better represented by a game-theoretical treatment of scope & anaphora. 26 References. T. Rosenberg. (shrink)
We introduce several senses of the principle ofcompositionality. We illustrate the difference between them with thehelp of some recent results obtained by Cameron and Hodges oncompositional semantics for languages of imperfect information.
The main tool of the arithmetization and logization of analysis in the history of nineteenth century mathematics was an informal logic of quantifiers in the guise of the “epsilon–delta” technique. Mathematicians slowly worked out the problems encountered in using it, but logicians from Frege on did not understand it let alone formalize it, and instead used an unnecessarily poor logic of quantifiers, viz. the traditional, first-order logic. This logic does not e.g. allow the definition and study of mathematicians’ uniformity concepts (...) important in analysis. Mathematicians’ stronger logic was rediscovered around 1990 as the form of independence-friendly logic which hence is not a new logic nor a further development of ordinary first-order logic but a richer version of it. (shrink)
Carnap's philosophy is examined from new viewpoints, including three important distinctions: (i) language as calculus vs language as universal medium; (ii) different senses of completeness: (iii) standard vs nonstandard interpretations of (higher-order) logic. (i) Carnap favored in 1930-34 the "formal mode of speech," a corollary to the universality assumption. He later gave it up partially but retained some of its ingredients, e.g., the one-domain assumption. (ii) Carnap's project of creating a universal self-referential language is encouraged by (ii) and by the (...) author's recent work. (iii) Carnap was aware of (iii) and occasionally used the standard interpretation, but was not entirely clear of the nature of the contrast. (shrink)
Omitting experimental data is often considered a violation of scientific integrity. If we consider experimental inquiry as a questioning process, omitting data is seen to be merely an example of tentatively rejecting (‘bracketing’) some of nature’s answers. Such bracketing is not only occasionally permissible; sometimes it is mandated by optimal interrogative strategies. When to omit data is therefore a strategic rather than ethical question. These points are illustrated by reference to Millikan’s oil drop experiment.