This paper concerns the rational reconstruction of physical theories initially advanced by F. P. Ramsey and later elaborated by Rudolf Carnap. The Carnap–Ramsey reconstruction of theoretical knowledge is a natural development of classical empiricist ideas, one that is informed by Russell's philosophical logic and his theories of propositional understanding and knowledge of matter ; as such, it is not merely a schematic representation of the notion of an empirical theory, but the backbone of a general account of our knowledge of (...) the physical world. Carnap–Ramsey is an illuminating approach to epistemological problems that remain with us, one whose difficulties are shared by accounts that have sought to replace it. 1 Introduction 2 Russell's theory of propositional understanding 3 Ramsey's primary and secondary systems 4 Carnap's reconstruction of the language of science and an observation of Newman 5 Extension of the foregoing to constructive empiricism 6 Putnam's model-theoretic argument and the semantic view of theories 7 The problem clarified and resolved. (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 present paper offers some remarks on the significance of first order model theory for our understanding of theories, and more generally, for our understanding of the “structuralist” accounts of the nature of theoretical knowledge that we associate with Russell, Ramsey and Carnap. What is unique about the presentation is the prominence it assigns to Craig’s Interpolation Lemma, some of its corollaries, and the manner of their demonstration. They form the underlying logical basis of the analysis.
This paper attempts to confine the preconceptions that prevented Frege from appreciating Hilbert?s Grundlagen der Geometrie to two: (i) Frege?s reliance on what, following Wilfrid Hodges, I call a Frege?Peano language, and (ii) Frege?s view that the sense of an expression wholly determines its reference.I argue that these two preconceptions prevented Frege from achieving the conceptual structure of model theory, whereas Hilbert, at least in his practice, was quite close to the model?theoretic point of view.Moreover, the issues that divided Frege (...) and Hilbert did not revolve around whether one or the other allowed metalogical notions.Frege, e.g., succeeded in formulating the notion of logical consequence, at least to the extent that Bolzano did; the point is rather that even though Frege had certain semantic concepts, he did not articulate them model?theoretically, whereas, in some limited sense, Hilbert did. (shrink)
A central problem in the interpretation of non-relativistic quantum mechanics is to relate the conceptual structure of the theory to the classical idea of the state of a physical system. This paper approaches the problem by presenting an analysis of the notion of an elementary physical proposition. The notion is shown to be realized in standard formulations of the theory and to illuminate the significance of proofs of the impossibility of hidden variable extensions. In the interpretation of quantum mechanics that (...) emerges from this analysis, the philosophically distinctive features of the theory derive from the fact that it seeks to represent a reality of which complete knowledge is essentially unattainable. (shrink)
A feature of Frege's philosophy of arithmetic that has elicited a great deal of attention in the recent secondary literature is his contention that numbers are ‘self‐subsistent’ objects. The considerable interest in this thesis among the contemporary philosophy of mathematics community stands in marked contrast to Kreisel's folk‐lore observation that the central problem in the philosophy of mathematics is not the existence of mathematical objects, but the objectivity of mathematics. Although Frege was undoubtedly concerned with both questions, a goal of (...) the present paper is to argue that his success in securing the objectivity of arithmetic depends on a less contentious commitment to numbers as objects than either he or his critics have supposed. As such, this paper is an articulation and defense of both Frege's analysis of arithmetic and Kreisel's observation. (shrink)
The following paper presents a characterization of three distinctions fundamental to computationalism, viz., the distinction between analog and digital machines, representation and nonrepresentation-using systems, and direct and indirect perceptual processes. Each distinction is shown to rest on nothing more than the methodological principles which justify the explanatory framework of the special sciences.
This paper concerns the epistemic status of "Hume's principle"--the assertion that for any concepts and , the number of s is the same as the number of s just in case the s and the s are in one-one correspondence. I oppose the view that Hume's principle is a stipulation governing the introduction of a new concept with the thesis that it represents the correct analysis of a concept in use. Frege's derivation of the basic laws of arithmetic from Hume's (...) principle shows our pure arithmetical knowledge to arise out of the most common everyday applications we make of the numbers. The analysis of arithmetical knowledge in terms of Hume's principle ties our conception of number to the interconnections of which our concepts of divided reference are capable; in so doing, it locates the origin of our conception of number in the structure of our conceptual framework. (shrink)
The quantum logical and quantum information-theoretic traditions have exerted an especially powerful influence on Bub’s thinking about the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics. This paper discusses both the quantum logical and information-theoretic traditions from the point of view of their representational frameworks. I argue that it is at this level—at the level of its framework—that the quantum logical tradition has retained its centrality to Bub’s thought. It is further argued that there is implicit in the quantum information-theoretic tradition a set (...) of ideas that mark a genuinely new alternative to the framework of quantum logic. These ideas are of considerable interest for the philosophy of quantum mechanics, a claim which I defend with an extended discussion of their application to our understanding of the philosophical significance of the no hidden variable theorem of Kochen and Specker. (shrink)
This paper has three goals: (i) to show that the foundational program begun in the Begriffsschroft, and carried forward in the Grundlagen, represented Frege's attempt to establish the autonomy of arithmetic from geometry and kinematics; the cogency and coherence of 'intuitive' reasoning were not in question. (ii) To place Frege's logicism in the context of the nineteenth century tradition in mathematical analysis, and, in particular, to show how the modern concept of a function made it possible for Frege to pursue (...) the goal of autonomy within the framework of the system of second-order logic of the Begriffsschrift. (iii) To address certain criticisms of Frege by Parsons and Boolos, and thereby to clarify what was and was not achieved by the development, in Part III of the Begriffsschrift, of a fragment of the theory of relations. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with Wittgenstein's early doctrine of the independence of elementary propositions. Using the notion of a free generator for a logical calculus–a concept we claim was anticipated by Wittgenstein–we show precisely why certain difficulties associated with his doctrine cannot be overcome. We then show that Russell's version of logical atomism–with independent particulars instead of elementary propositions–avoids the same difficulties.
We call Frege's discovery that, in the context of second-order logic, Hume's principle-viz., The number of Fs = the number of Gs if, and only if, F a G, where F a G (the Fs and the Gs are in one-to-one correspondence) has its usual, second-order, explicit definition-implies the infinity of the natural numbers, Frege's theorem. We discuss whether this theorem can be marshalled in support of a possibly revised formulation of Frege's logicism.
We present a translation of Poincaré's hitherto untranslated 1912 essay together with a brief introduction describing the essay's contemporary interest, both for Poincaré scholarship and for the history and philosophy of atomism. In the introduction we distinguish two easily conflated strands in Poincaré's thinking about atomism, one focused on the possibility of deciding the atomic hypothesis, the other focused on the question whether it can ever be determined that the analysis of matter has a finite bound. We show that Poincaré (...) admitted the decisiveness of Perrin's investigations for the existence of atoms; he did not, however, anticipate the kind of resolution of which the second question is susceptible in light of recent developments. (shrink)
The paper considers Fregean and neo-Fregean strategies for securing the apriority of arithmetic. The Fregean strategy recovers the apriority of arithmetic from that of logic and a family of explicit definitions. The neo-Fregean strategy relies on a principle which, though not an explicit definition, is given the status of a stipulation; unlike the Fregean strategy it relies on an extension of second order logic which is not merely a definitional extension. The paper argues that this methodological difference is important in (...) assessing the success of the neo-Fregean strategy. (shrink)
Richard G. Heck, On the Philosophical Significance of Frege's Theorem. Language, Thought, and Logic, Essays in Honour of Michael Dummett.George Boolos, Is Hume's Principle Analytic?.Charles Parsons, Wright onion and Set Theory.Richard G. Heck, The Julius Caesar Objection.