In the words of Bertrand Russell, "Because language is misleading, as well as because it is diffuse and inexact when applied to logic (for which it was never intended), logical symbolism is absolutely necessary to any exact or thorough treatment of mathematical philosophy." That assertion underlies this book, a seminal work in the field for more than 70 years. In it, Russell offers a nontechnical, undogmatic account of his philosophical criticism as it relates to arithmetic and logic. Rather than (...) an exhaustive treatment, however, the influential philosopher and mathematician focuses on certain issues of mathematical logic that, to his mind, invalidated much traditional and contemporary philosophy. In dealing with such topics as number, order, relations, limits and continuity, propositional functions, descriptions, and classes, Russell writes in a clear, accessible manner, requiring neither a knowledge of mathematics nor an aptitude for mathematical symbolism. The result is a thought-provoking excursion into the fascinating realm where mathematics and philosophy meet — a philosophical classic that will be welcomed by any thinking person interested in this crucial area of modern thought. (shrink)
Traces the development of British philosopher Russell's (1872-1970) ideas on mathematics from the 1890s to the publication of his Principles of mathematics in 1903. Draws from Russell's unpublished manuscripts, correspondence, and published works to point out the influence of Hegel, Cantor, Whitehead, Peano, and others. No index. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.
The volume includes twenty-five research papers presented as gifts to John L. Bell to celebrate his 60th birthday by colleagues, former students, friends and admirers. Like Bell’s own work, the contributions cross boundaries into several inter-related fields. The contributions are new work by highly respected figures, several of whom are among the key figures in their fields. Some examples: in foundations of maths and logic ; analytical philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics and decision theory (...) and foundations of economics. Most articles are contributions to current philosophical debates, but contributions also include some new mathematical results, important historical surveys, and a translation by Wilfrid Hodges of a key work of arabic logic. (shrink)
This paper deals with Natorp’s version of the Marburg mathematical philosophy of science characterized by the following three features: The core of Natorp’s mathematical philosophy of science is contained in his “knowledge equation” that may be considered as a mathematical model of the “transcendental method” conceived by Natorp as the essence of the Marburg Neo-Kantianism. For Natorp, the object of knowledge was an infinite task. This can be elucidated in two different ways: Carnap, in the Aufbau, contended that (...) this endeavor can be divided into two distinct parts, namely, a finite “constitution” of the object of knowledge and an infinite incompletable empirical description. In contrast, and more in the original spirit of Cohen and Natorp, the physicist and philosopher Margenau in The Nature of Physical Reality (Margenau. 1950) conceived the infinity of this “Aufgabe” as an infinite dialectical process, in which relative “data” and “conceptual constructs” determine each other. This dialectical process eliminates the dichotomy between Anschauung and Begriff that distinguished the Marburg Neo-Kantianism from Kantian orthodoxy, namely, the abandonment of the difference between intuition and concept. Finally, the paper deals with the non-Archimedean geometrical systems that played a central role in Natorp’s defence of Cohen’s “infinitesimal” metaphysics. (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 short article pairs the realms of “Mathematics”, “Philosophy”, and “Poetry”, presenting some corners of intersection of this type of scientocreativity. Poetry have long been following mathematical patterns expressed by stern formal restrictions, as the strong metrical structure of ancient Greek heroic epic, or the consistent meter with standardized rhyme scheme and a “volta” of Italian sonnets. Poetry was always connected to Philosophy, and further on, notable mathematicians, like the inventor of quaternions, William Rowan Hamilton, or Ion (...) Barbu, the creator of the Barbilian spaces, have written appreciated poems. We will focus here on an avant-garde movement in literature, art, philosophy, and science, called Paradoxism, founded in Romania in 1980 by a mathematician, philosopher and poet, and on the laboured writing exercises of the Oulipo group, founded in Paris in 1960 by mathematicians and poets, both of them still in act. (shrink)
Because Bertrand Russell adopted much of the logical symbolism of Peano, because Russell always had a high regard for the great Italian mathematician, and because Russell held the logicist thesis so strongly, many English-speaking mathematicians have been led to classify Peano as a logicist, or at least as a forerunner of the logicist school. An attempt is made here to deny this by showing that Peano's primary interest was in axiomatics, that he never used the mathematical logic developed by him (...) for the reduction of mathematical concepts to logical concepts, and that, instead, he denied the validity of such a reduction. (shrink)
In the chapter of Difference and Repetition entitled ‘Ideas and the synthesis of difference,’ Deleuze mobilizes mathematics to develop a ‘calculus of problems’ that is based on the mathematical philosophy of Albert Lautman. Deleuze explicates this process by referring to the operation of certain conceptual couples in the field of contemporary mathematics: most notably the continuous and the discontinuous, the infinite and the finite, and the global and the local. The two mathematical theories that Deleuze draws upon (...) for this purpose are the differential calculus and the theory of dynamical systems, and Galois’ theory of polynomial equations. For the purposes of this paper I will only treat the first of these, which is based on the idea that the singularities of vector fields determine the local trajectories of solution curves, or their ‘topological behaviour’. These singularities can be described in terms of the given mathematical problematic, that is for example, how to solve two divergent series in the same field, and in terms of the solutions, as the trajectories of the solution curves to the problem. What actually counts as a solution to a problem is determined by the specific characteristics of the problem itself, typically by the singularities of this problem and the way in which they are distributed in a system. Deleuze understands the differential calculus essentially as a ‘calculus of problems’, and the theory of dynamical systems as the qualitative and topological theory of problems, which, when connected together, are determinative of the complex logic of different/ciation. (DR 209). Deleuze develops the concept of a problematic idea from the differential calculus, and following Lautman considers the concept of genesis in mathematics to ‘play the role of model ... with respect to all other domains of incarnation’. While Lautman explicated the philosophical logic of the actualization of ideas within the framework of mathematics, Deleuze (along with Guattari) follows Lautman’s suggestion and explicates the operation of this logic within the framework of a multiplicity of domains, including for example philosophy, science and art in What is Philosophy?, and the variety of domains which characterise the plateaus in A Thousand Plateaus. While for Lautman, a mathematical problem is resolved by the development of a new mathematical theory, for Deleuze, it is the construction of a concept that offers a solution to a philosophical problem; even if this newly constructed concept is characteristic of, or modelled on the new mathematical theory. (shrink)
This book states, illustrates, and evaluates the main points of Russell's Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. This book also contains a thorough exposition of the fundamentals of set theory, including Cantor's groundbreaking investigations into the theory of transfinite numbers. Topics covered include: *Cardinal number (Frege's analysis) *Cardinal number (von Neumann's analysis) *Ordinal number *Isomorphism *Mathematical induction *Limits and continuity *The arithmetic of transfinites *Set-theoretic definitions of "point" and "instant" *An analysis of cardinal n, for arbitrary n, that, unlike the analyses (...) put forth by Russell and von *Neumann, is not merely adequate but de rigueur. *Cogent analyses of hitherto unsolved paradoxes of set-theory and logic, e.g. the Liar Paradox and Russell's Paradox. (shrink)
Demonstrating the different roles that logic plays in the disciplines of computer science, mathematics, and philosophy, this concise undergraduate textbook covers select topics from three different areas of logic: proof theory, computability theory, and nonclassical logic. The book balances accessibility, breadth, and rigor, and is designed so that its materials will fit into a single semester. Its distinctive presentation of traditional logic material will enhance readers' capabilities and mathematical maturity. The proof theory portion presents classical propositional logic and (...) first-order logic using a computer-oriented (resolution) formal system. Linear resolution and its connection to the programming language Prolog are also treated. The computability component offers a machine model and mathematical model for computation, proves the equivalence of the two approaches, and includes famous decision problems unsolvable by an algorithm. The section on nonclassical logic discusses the shortcomings of classical logic in its treatment of implication and an alternate approach that improves upon it: Anderson and Belnap's relevance logic. Applications are included in each section. The material on a four-valued semantics for relevance logic is presented in textbook form for the first time. Aimed at upper-level undergraduates of moderate analytical background, Three Views of Logic will be useful in a variety of classroom settings. Gives an exceptionally broad view of logic. Treats traditional logic in a modern format. Presents relevance logic with applications. Provides an ideal text for a variety of one-semester upper-level undergraduate courses. (shrink)
Gödel's definitive results and his essays leave us with a rich legacy of philosophical programs that promise to be subject to mathematical treatment. After surveying some of these, we focus attention on the program of circumventing his demonstrated impossibility of a consistency proof for mathematics by means of extramathematical concepts.
Although mathematical philosophy is flourishing today, it remains subject to criticism, especially from non-analytical philosophers. The main concern is that even if formal tools serve to clarify reasoning, they themselves contribute nothing new or relevant to philosophy. We defend mathematical philosophy against such concerns here by appealing to its metaphysical foundations. Our thesis is that mathematical philosophy can be founded on the phenomenological theory of ideas as developed by Roman Ingarden. From this platonist perspective, the “unreasonable (...) effectiveness of mathematics in philosophy”—to adapt Wigner’s phrase—is analogous to that of mathematical explanations in science. As success-criteria for mathematical philosophy, we propose that it should be correct, responsive, illuminating, promising, relevant, and adequate. (shrink)
I construe mathematical philosophy not in the narrow sense of philosophy of mathematics but in a broad indefinite sense of different manners of giving mathematics a privileged place in the study of philosophy. For example, in one way or another, mathematics plays an important part in the philosophy of Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Kant. In contrast, history plays a central role in the philosophy of Vico, Hegel, and Marx. In more recent (...) times, Frege, Husserl, Russell, Ramsey, and Gödel all began as mathematicians. One way of viewing Kant’s system of philosophy might be to stress that he was struck by the synthetic a priori character of mathematical propositions. He went on to offer a remarkable account of this fact and also look for and propose synthetic a priori foundations of physics, morality, and esthetics. (shrink)
This volume honours the life and work of Solomon Feferman, one of the most prominent mathematical logicians of the latter half of the 20th century. In the collection of essays presented here, researchers examine Feferman’s work on mathematical as well as specific methodological and philosophical issues that tie into mathematics. Feferman’s work was largely based in mathematical logic, but also branched out into methodological and philosophical issues, making it well known beyond the borders of the mathematics community. With (...) regard to methodological issues, Feferman supported concrete projects. On the one hand, these projects calibrate the proof theoretic strength of subsystems of analysis and set theory and provide ways of overcoming the limitations imposed by Gödel’s incompleteness theorems through appropriate conceptual expansions. On the other, they seek to identify novel axiomatic foundations for mathematical practice, truth theories, and category theory. In his philosophical research, Feferman explored questions such as “What is logic?” and proposed particular positions regarding the foundations of mathematics including, for example, his “conceptual structuralism.” The contributing authors of the volume examine all of the above issues. Their papers are accompanied by an autobiography presented by Feferman that reflects on the evolution and intellectual contexts of his work. The contributing authors critically examine Feferman’s work and, in part, actively expand on his concrete mathematical projects. The volume illuminates Feferman’s distinctive work and, in the process, provides an enlightening perspective on the foundations of mathematics and logic. (shrink)
Explicit concepts and sufficiently precise definitions are the basis for further advance of a science beyond a given level. To move toward a situation where the whole population has access to the authentic results of science (italics mine) requires making explicit some general philosophical principles which can help to guide the learning, development, and use of mathematics, a science which clearly plays a pivotal role regarding the learning, development and use of all the sciences. Such philosophical principles have not (...) come from speculation but from studying and concentrating the development of actual mathematical subjects such as algebraic geometry, functional analysis, continuum mechanics, combinatorics, etc. The simplifications in the conceptual relations revealed by such philosophical/mathematical advances are of great value, not only in: (1) clarifying and guiding further research in the mathematical sciences, but also in (2) reforming pedagogy and popularization in ways that will not prove deceptive. (shrink)
What was the basis for the adoption of mathematics as the primary mode of discourse for describing natural events by a large segment of the philosophical community in the seventeenth century? In answering this question, this book demonstrates that a significant group of philosophers shared the belief that there is no necessary correspondence between external reality and objects of human understanding, which they held to include the objects of mathematical and linguistic discourse. The result is a scholarly reliable, but (...) accessible, account of the role of mathematics in the works of Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, and Berkeley. This impressive volume will benefit scholars interested in the history of philosophy, mathematical philosophy and the history of mathematics. (shrink)
There is an urgent need in philosophy of mathematics for new approaches which pay closer attention to mathematical practice. This book will blaze the trail: it offers philosophical analyses of important characteristics of contemporary mathematics and of many aspects of mathematical activity which escape purely formal logical treatment.
The twentieth century has witnessed an unprecedented 'crisis in the foundations of mathematics', featuring a world-famous paradox (Russell's Paradox), a challenge to 'classical' mathematics from a world-famous mathematician (the 'mathematical intuitionism' of Brouwer), a new foundational school (Hilbert's Formalism), and the profound incompleteness results of Kurt Gödel. In the same period, the cross-fertilization of mathematics and philosophy resulted in a new sort of 'mathematical philosophy', associated most notably (but in different ways) with Bertrand Russell, W. (...) V. Quine, and Gödel himself, and which remains at the focus of Anglo-Saxon philosophical discussion. The present collection brings together in a convenient form the seminal articles in the philosophy of mathematics by these and other major thinkers. It is a substantially revised version of the edition first published in 1964 and includes a revised bibliography. The volume will be welcomed as a major work of reference at this level in the field. (shrink)
Introduction: mathematization and the language of nature -- Realists and nominalists : language and mathematics before the scientific revolution -- Ontology recapitulates epistemology : Gassendi, epicurean atomism, and nominalism -- British empiricism, nominalism, and constructivism -- Three mathematicians : constructivist epistemology and the new mathematical methods -- Conclusion: mathematization and the nature of language.
Do numbers, sets, and so forth, exist? What do mathematical statements mean? Are they literally true or false, or do they lack truth values altogether? Addressing questions that have attracted lively debate in recent years, Stewart Shapiro contends that standard realist and antirealist accounts of mathematics are both problematic. As Benacerraf first noted, we are confronted with the following powerful dilemma. The desired continuity between mathematical and, say, scientific language suggests realism, but realism in this context suggests seemingly intractable (...) epistemic problems. As a way out of this dilemma, Shapiro articulates a structuralist approach. On this view, the subject matter of arithmetic, for example, is not a fixed domain of numbers independent of each other, but rather is the natural number structure, the pattern common to any system of objects that has an initial object and successor relation satisfying the induction principle. Using this framework, realism in mathematics can be preserved without troublesome epistemic consequences. Shapiro concludes by showing how a structuralist approach can be applied to wider philosophical questions such as the nature of an "object" and the Quinean nature of ontological commitment. Clear, compelling, and tautly argued, Shapiro's work, noteworthy both in its attempt to develop a full-length structuralist approach to mathematics and to trace its emergence in the history of mathematics, will be of deep interest to both philosophers and mathematicians. (shrink)
This book provides an accessible, critical introduction to the three main approaches that dominated work in the philosophy of mathematics during the twentieth century: logicism, intuitionism and formalism.
This lucid and comprehensive essay by a distinguished philosopher surveys the views of Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, and Kant on the nature of mathematics. It examines the propositions and theories of the schools these philosophers inspired, and it concludes by discussing the relationship between mathematical theories, empirical data, and philosophical presuppositions. 1968 edition.