The rather unrestrained use of second-order logic in the neo-logicist program is critically examined. It is argued in some detail that it brings with it genuine set-theoretical existence assumptions and that the mathematical power that Hume’s Principle seems to provide, in the derivation of Frege’s Theorem, comes largely from the ‘logic’ assumed rather than from Hume’s Principle. It is shown that Hume’s Principle is in reality not stronger than the very weak Robinson Arithmetic Q. Consequently, only a few rudimentary facts (...) of arithmetic are logically derivable from Hume’s Principle. And that hardly counts as a vindication of logicism. (shrink)
In two recent papers, Bob Hale has attempted to free second-order logic of the 'staggering existential assumptions' with which Quine famously attempted to saddle it. I argue, first, that the ontological issue is at best secondary: the crucial issue about second-order logic, at least for a neo-logicist, is epistemological. I then argue that neither Crispin Wright's attempt to characterize a `neutralist' conception of quantification that is wholly independent of existential commitment, nor Hale's attempt to characterize the second-order domain in terms (...) of definability, can serve a neo-logicist's purposes. The problem, in both cases, is similar: neither Wright nor Hale is sufficiently sensitive to the demands that impredicativity imposes. Finally, I defend my own earlier attempt to finesse this issue, in "A Logic for Frege's Theorem", from Hale's criticisms. (shrink)
A crucial part of the contemporary interest in logicism in the philosophy of mathematics resides in its idea that arithmetical knowledge may be based on logical knowledge. Here an implementation of this idea is considered that holds that knowledge of arithmetical principles may be based on two things: (i) knowledge of logical principles and (ii) knowledge that the arithmetical principles are representable in the logical principles. The notions of representation considered here are related to theory-based and structure-based notions of (...) representation from contemporary mathematical logic. It is argued that the theory-based versions of such logicism are either too liberal (the plethora problem) or are committed to intuitively incorrect closure conditions (the consistency problem). Structure-based versions must on the other hand respond to a charge of begging the question (the circularity problem) or explain how one may have a knowledge of structure in advance of a knowledge of axioms (the signature problem). This discussion is significant because it gives us a better idea of what a notion of representation must look like if it is to aid in realizing some of the traditional epistemic aims of logicism in the philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
Logicism Lite counts number‐theoretical laws as logical for the same sort of reason for which physical laws are counted as as empirical: because of the character of the data they are responsible to. In the case of number theory these are the data verifying or falsifying the simplest equations, which Logicism Lite counts as true or false depending on the logical validity or invalidity of first‐order argument forms in which no numbertheoretical notation appears.
The idea that mathematics is reducible to logic has a long history, but it was Frege who gave logicism an articulation and defense that transformed it into a distinctive philosophical thesis with a profound influence on the development of philosophy in the twentieth century. This volume of classic, revised and newly written essays by William Demopoulos examines logicism's principal legacy for philosophy: its elaboration of notions of analysis and reconstruction. The essays reflect on the deployment of these ideas (...) by the principal figures in the history of the subject - Frege, Russell, Ramsey and Carnap - and in doing so illuminate current concerns about the nature of mathematical and theoretical knowledge. Issues addressed include the nature of arithmetical knowledge in the light of Frege's theorem; the status of realism about the theoretical entities of physics; and the proper interpretation of empirical theories that postulate abstract structural constraints. (shrink)
This paper argues against Oaksford and Chater's claim that logicist cognitive science is not possible. It suggests that there arguments against logicist cognitive science are too closely tied to the account of Pylyshyn and of Fodor, and that the correct way of thinking about logicist cognitive science is in a mental models framework.
Certain advocates of the so-called "neo-logicist" movement in the philosophy of mathematics identify themselves as "neo-Fregeans", presenting an updated and revised version of Frege’s form of logicism. Russell’s form of logicism is scarcely discussed in this literature and, when it is, often dismissed as not really logicism at all. In this paper I have three aims: firstly, to identify more clearly the primary meta-ontological and methodological differences between Russell’s logicism and the more recent forms; secondly, to (...) argue that Russell’s form of logicism offers more elegant and satisfactory solutions to a variety of problems that continue to plague the neo-logicist movement ; thirdly, to argue that neo-Russellian forms of logicism remain viable positions for current philosophers of mathematics. (shrink)
David Hilbert’s early foundational views, especially those corresponding to the 1890s, are analysed here. I consider strong evidence for the fact that Hilbert was a logicist at that time, following upon Dedekind’s footsteps in his understanding of pure mathematics. This insight makes it possible to throw new light on the evolution of Hilbert’s foundational ideas, including his early contributions to the foundations of geometry and the real number system. The context of Dedekind-style logicism makes it possible to offer a (...) new analysis of the emergence of Hilbert’s famous ideas on mathematical existence, now seen as a revision of basic principles of the “naive logic” of sets. At the same time, careful scrutiny of his published and unpublished work around the turn of the century uncovers deep differences between his ideas about consistency proofs before and after 1904. Along the way, we cover topics such as the role of sets and of the dichotomic conception of set theory in Hilbert’s early axiomatics, and offer detailed analyses of Hilbert’s paradox and of his completeness axiom (Vollständigkeitsaxiom). (shrink)
In this paper, I develop a new defense of logicism: one that combines logicism and nominalism. First, I defend the logicist approach from recent criticisms; in particular from the charge that a cruciai principie in the logicist reconstruction of arithmetic, Hume's Principle, is not analytic. In order to do that, I argue, it is crucial to understand the overall logicist approach as a nominalist view. I then indicate a way of extending the nominalist logicist approach beyond arithmetic. Finally, (...) I argue that a nominalist can use the resulting approach to provide a nominalization strategy for mathematics. In this way, mathematical structures can be introduced without ontological costs. And so, if this proposal is correct, we can say that ultimately all the nominalist needs is logic (and, rather loosely, ali the logicist needs is nominalism). (shrink)
PG (Plural Grundgesetze) is a consistent second-order system which is aimed to derive second-order Peano arithmetic. It employs the notion of plural quantification and a few Fregean devices, among which the infamous Basic Law V. George Boolos’ plural semantics is replaced with Enrico Martino’s Acts of Choice Semantics (ACS), which is developed from the notion of arbitrary reference in mathematical reasoning. Also, substitutional quantification is exploited to interpret quantification into predicate position. ACS provides a form of logicism which is (...) radically alternative to Frege’s and which is grounded on the existence of individuals rather than on the existence of concepts. (shrink)
The aim here is to describe how to complete the constructive logicist program, in the author’s book Anti-Realism and Logic, of deriving all the Peano-Dedekind postulates for arithmetic within a theory of natural numbers that also accounts for their applicability in counting finite collections of objects. The axioms still to be derived are those for addition and multiplication. Frege did not derive them in a fully explicit, conceptually illuminating way. Nor has any neo-Fregean done so.
In this work I study the main tenets of the logicist philosophy of mathematics. I deal, basically, with two problems: (1) To what extent can one dispense with intuition in mathematics? (2) What is the appropriate logic for the purposes of logicism? By means of my considerations I try to determine the pros and cons of logicism. My standpoint favors the logicist line of thought. -/- .
This paper describes both an exegetical puzzle that lies at the heart of Frege’s writings—how to reconcile his logicism with his definitions and claims about his definitions—and two interpretations that try to resolve that puzzle, what I call the “explicative interpretation” and the “analysis interpretation.” This paper defends the explicative interpretation primarily by criticizing the most careful and sophisticated defenses of the analysis interpretation, those given my Michael Dummett and Patricia Blanchette. Specifically, I argue that Frege’s text either are (...) inconsistent with the analysis interpretation or do not support it. I also defend the explicative interpretation from the recent charge that it cannot make sense of Frege’s logicism. While I do not provide the explicative interpretation’s full solution to the puzzle, I show that its main competitor is seriously problematic. (shrink)
In this extended critical discussion of 'Kant's Modal Metaphysics' by Nicholas Stang (OUP 2016), I focus on one central issue from the first chapter of the book: Stang’s account of Kant’s doctrine that existence is not a real predicate. In §2 I outline some background. In §§3-4 I present and then elaborate on Stang’s interpretation of Kant’s view that existence is not a real predicate. For Stang, the question of whether existence is a real predicate amounts to the question: ‘could (...) there be non-actual possibilia?’ (p.35). Kant’s view, according to Stang, is that there could not, and that the very notion of non-actual or ‘mere’ possibilia is incoherent. In §5 I take a close look at Stang’s master argument that Kant’s Leibnizian predecessors are committed to the claim that existence is a real predicate, and thus to mere possibilia. I argue that it involves substantial logical commitments that the Leibnizian could reject. I also suggest that it is danger of proving too much. In §6 I explore two closely related logical commitments that Stang’s reading implicitly imposes on Kant, namely a negative universal free logic and a quantified modal logic that invalidates the Converse Barcan Formula. I suggest that each can seem to involve Kant himself in commitment to mere possibilia. (shrink)
The common thread running through the logicism of Frege, Dedekind, and Russell is their opposition to the Kantian thesis that our knowledge of arithmetic rests on spatio-temporal intuition. Our critical exposition of the view proceeds by tracing its answers to three fundamental questions: What is the basis for our knowledge of the infinity of the numbers? How is arithmetic applicable to reality? Why is reasoning by induction justified?
The faults of logical empiricist accounts of metascientific discourse are examined through a study of the modifications Carnap makes to his version of the program over four decades. As empiricists acquiesced on the distinction between theory and observation, Carnap attempted to retain and insulate an equally suspect sharp distinction between the theoretic and the pragmatic. Carnap's later philosophy was understood as a modification of the program in the direction of pragmatism. But neither the key notion of "external questions" nor an (...) instrumentalist understanding of "pragmatic utility" are genuinely compatible with pragmatism. This underlines the need to clarify what is unique to pragmatic views of cognitive evaluation and normative discourse as they affect scientific reasoning. I conclude by suggesting how pragmatic conceptions of metascientific discourse can work to correct misconceptions about norm generation and governance that are shared in logicist and historicist accounts. (shrink)
Simple-type theory is widely regarded as inadequate to capture the metaphysics of mathematics. The problem, however, is not that some kinds of structure cannot be studied within simple-type theory. Even structures that violate simple-types are isomorphic to structures that can be studied in simple-type theory. In disputes over the logicist foundations of mathematics, the central issue concerns the problem that simple-type theory fails to assure an infinity of natural numbers as objects. This paper argues that the problem of infinity is (...) based on a metaphysical prejudice in favor of numbers as objects — a prejudice that mathematics can get along without. (shrink)
Logicism and the Philosophy of Language brings together the core works by Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell on logic and language. In their separate efforts to clarify mathematics through the use of logic in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Frege and Russell both recognized the need for rigorous and systematic semantic analysis of language. It was their turn to this style of analysis that would establish the philosophy of language as an autonomous area of inquiry. This anthology (...) gathers together these foundational writings, and frames them with an extensive historical introduction. This is a collection for anyone interested in questions about truth, meaning, reference, and logic, and in the application of formal analysis to these concepts. (shrink)
Although logicism played a significant role in Carnap's philosophical thinking, the relation of his philosophy of mathematics to the main tenets of the logicist tradition is complex and variable. is paper examines one aspect of this relation by discussing the following question: What elements of Carnap's Logical Syntax of Language, if any at all, indicate a real commitment to that tradition? It will be shown that although important aspects of Frege-Russell logicism are incorporated into the framework developed in (...) that book, it is nonetheless impossible to define a position within that framework which deserves to be called “typically logicist“. (shrink)
This thesis is an examination of Frege's logicism, and of a number of objections which are widely viewed as refutations of the logicist thesis. In the view offered here, logicism is designed to provide answers to two questions: that of the nature of arithmetical truth, and that of the source of arithmetical knowledge. ;The first objection dealt with here is the view that logicism is not an epistemologically significant thesis, due to the fact that the epistemological status (...) of logic itself is not well understood. I argue to the contrary that on Frege's conception of logic, logicism is of clear epistemological importance. ;The second objection examined is the claim that Godel's first incompleteness theorem falsifies logicism. I argue that the incompleteness theorem has no impact on logicism unless the logicist is compelled to hold that logic is recursively enumerable. I argue, further, that there is no reason to impose this requirement on logicism. ;The third objection concerns Russell's paradox. I argue that the paradox is devastating to Frege's conception of numbers, but not to his logicist project. I suggest that the appropriate course for a post-Fregean logicist to follow is one which divorces itself from Frege's platonism. ;The conclusion of this thesis is that logicism has of late been too easily dismissed. Though several critical aspects of Frege's logicism must be altered in light of recent results, the central Fregean thesis is still an important and promising view about the nature of arithmetic and arithmetical knowledge. (shrink)
The neo-logicist argues tliat standard mathematics can be derived by purely logical means from abstraction principles—such as Hume's Principle— which are held to lie 'epistcmically innocent'. We show that the second-order axiom of comprehension applied to non-instantiated properties and the standard first-order existential instantiation and universal elimination principles are essential for the derivation of key results, specifically a theorem of infinity, but have not been shown to be epistemically innocent. We conclude that the epistemic innocence of mathematics has not been (...) established by the neo-logicist. (shrink)
Adapated from talks at the UCLA Logic Center and the Pitt Philosophy of Science Series. Exposition of material from Fixing Frege, Chapter 2 (on predicative versions of Frege’s system) and from “Protocol Sentences for Lite Logicism” (on a form of mathematical instrumentalism), suggesting a connection. Provisional version: references remain to be added. To appear in Mathematics, Modality, and Models: Selected Philosophical Papers, coming from Cambridge University Press.
Inferentialism is explained as an attempt to provide an account of meaning that is more sensitive (than the tradition of truth-conditional theorizing deriving from Tarski and Davidson) to what is learned when one masters meanings.
Throughout most of his career, Rudolf Carnap attempted to articulate an empiricist view. Central to this project is the understanding of how empiricism can be made compatible with abstract objects that seem to be invoked in mathematics. In this paper, I discuss and critically evaluate three moves made by Carnap to accommodate mathematical talk within his empiricist program: the “weak logicism” in the Aufbau; the combination of formalism and logicism in the Logische Syntax; and the distinction between internal (...) and external question characteristic of Carnap’s involvement with modality. As a result, the clear interplay between Carnap’s philosophy of science and his work in the philosophy of mathematics will emerge, as well as some challenges that need to be overcome along the way. (shrink)
In this paper, we describe "metaphysical reductions", in which the well-defined terms and predicates of arbitrary mathematical theories are uniquely interpreted within an axiomatic, metaphysical theory of abstract objects. Once certain (constitutive) facts about a mathematical theory T have been added to the metaphysical theory of objects, theorems of the metaphysical theory yield both an analysis of the reference of the terms and predicates of T and an analysis of the truth of the sentences of T. The well-defined terms and (...) predicates of T are analyzed as denoting abstract objects and abstract relations, respectively, in the background metaphysics, and the sentences of T have a reading on which they are true. After the technical details are sketched, the paper concludes with some observations about the approach. One important observation concerns the fact that the proper axioms of the background theory abstract objects can be reformulated in a way that makes them sound more like logical axioms. Some philosophers have argued that we should accept (something like) them as being logical. (shrink)
With the aid of a non-standard (but still ﬁrst-order) cardinality quantiﬁer and an extra-logical operator representing numerical abstraction, this paper presents a formalization of ﬁrst-order arithmetic, in which numbers are abstracta of the equinumerosity relation, their properties derived from those of the cardinality quantiﬁer and the abstraction operator.
The period in the foundations of mathematics that started in 1879 with the publication of Frege's Begriffsschrift and ended in 1931 with Gödel's Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme I can reasonably be called the classical period. It saw the development of three major foundational programmes: the logicism of Frege, Russell and Whitehead, the intuitionism of Brouwer, and Hilbert's formalist and proof-theoretic programme. In this period, there were also lively exchanges between the various schools culminating (...) in the famous Hilbert-Brouwer controversy in the 1920s. -/- The purpose of this anthology is to review the programmes in the foundations of mathematics from the classical period and to assess their possible relevance for contemporary philosophy of mathematics. What can we say, in retrospect, about the various foundational programmes of the classical period and the disputes that took place between them? To what extent do the classical programmes of logicism, intuitionism and formalism represent options that are still alive today? These questions are addressed in this volume by leading mathematical logicians and philosophers of mathematics. (shrink)
PLV (Plural Basic Law V) is a consistent second-order system which is aimed to derive second-order Peano arithmetic. It employs the notion of plural quantification and a first-order formulation of Frege's infamous Basic Law V. George Boolos' plural semantics is replaced with Enrico Martino's Acts of Choice Semantics (ACS), which is developed from the notion of arbitrary reference in mathematical reasoning. ACS provides a form of logicism which is radically alternative to Frege's and which is grounded on the existence (...) of individuals rather than on the existence of concepts. (shrink)
This paper aims to shed light on the broader significance of Frege’s logicism against the background of discussing and comparing Wittgenstein’s ‘showing/saying’-distinction with Brandom’s idiom of logic as the enterprise of making the implicit rules of our linguistic practices explicit. The main thesis of this paper is that the problem of Frege’s logicism lies deeper than in its inconsistency : it lies in the basic idea that in arithmetic one can, and should, express everything that is implicitly presupposed (...) so that nothing is left unsaid. This, in fact, is the target of Wittgenstein’s critique. Rather than the Tractatus, with its claim that logicism attempts to say something that can only be shown, it is the Philosophical Investigations, with its argument by regress against the thesis that every rule which one can follow must be of an explicit nature, that is of real significance here. (shrink)
Unless you are a Frege scholar, or a philosopher of mathematics, if you are familiar at all with Frege’s work, you are most likely familiar with his groundbreaking work in the philosophy of language. You might know that Frege was a mathematician who sought to establish the covertly logical subject matter of arithmetic, a project whose demands drove Frege to his logical investigations and reflections on language. But most likely the connection between Frege’s mathematical research and his philosophy of language (...) remains elusive for you. (shrink)
Frege's logicism consists of two theses: the truths of arithmetic are truths of logic; the natural numbers are objects. In this paper I pose the question: what conception of logic is required to defend these theses? I hold that there exists an appropriate and natural conception of logic in virtue of which Hume's principle is a logical truth. Hume's principle, which states that the number of Fs is the number of Gs iff the concepts F and G are equinumerous (...) is the central plank in the neo-logicist argument for and. I defend this position against two objections Hume's principle canot be both a logical truth as required by and also have the ontological import required by ; and the use of Hume's principle by the logicist is in effect an ontological proof of a kind which is not valid. (shrink)