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)
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 few rudimentary facts of (...) arithmetic are logically derivable from Hume’s principle. And that hardly counts as a vindication of logicism. (shrink)
According to the species of neo-logicism advanced by Hale and Wright, mathematical knowledge is essentially logical knowledge. Their view is found to be best understood as a set of related though independent theses: (1) neo-fregeanism-a general conception of the relation between language and reality; (2) the method of abstraction-a particular method for introducing concepts into language; (3) the scope of logic-second-order logic is logic. The criticisms of Boolos, Dummett, Field and Quine (amongst others) of these theses are explicated and (...) assessed. The issues discussed include reductionism, rejectionism, the Julius Caesar problem, the Bad Company objections, and the charge that second-order logic is set theory in disguise. (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)
This article is a critical notice of Bob Hale and Crispin Wright's *The Reason's Proper Study* (OUP). It focuses particularly on their attempts (crucial to their neo-logicist project) to say what a singular term is. I identify problems for their account but include some constructive suggestions about how it might be improved.
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)
What is at stake philosophically for Russell in espousing logicism? I argue that Russell's aims are chiefly epistemological and mathematical in nature. Russell develops logicism in order to give an account of the nature of mathematics and of mathematical knowledge that is compatible with what he takes to be the uncontroversial status of this science as true, certain and exact. I argue for this view against the view of Peter Hylton, according to which Russell uses logicism to (...) defend the unconditional truth of mathematics against various Idealist positions that treat mathematics as true only partially or only relative to a particular point of view. (shrink)
According to Quine, Charles Parsons, Mark Steiner, and others, Russell's logicist project is important because, if successful, it would show that mathematical theorems possess desirable epistemic properties often attributed to logical theorems, such as a prioricity, necessity, and certainty. Unfortunately, Russell never attributed such importance to logicism, and such a thesis contradicts Russell's explicitly stated views on the relationship between logic and mathematics. This raises the question: what did Russell understand to be the philosophical importance of logicism? Building (...) on recent work by Andrew Irvine and Martin Godwyn, I argue that Russell thought a systematic reduction of mathematics increases the certainty of known mathematical theorems (even basic arithmetical facts) by showing mathematical knowledge to be coherently organized. The paper outlines Russell's theory of coherence, and discusses its relevance to logicism and the certainty attributed to mathematics. -/- . (shrink)
The traditional view regarding the philosophy of mathematics in the twentieth century is the dogma of three schools: Logicism, Intuitionism and Formalism. The problem with this dogma is not, at least not first and foremost, that it is wrong, but that it is biased and essentially incomplete. 'Biased' because it was formulated by one of the involved parties, namely the logical empiricists - if I see it right - in order to make their own position look more agreeable by (...) comparison with Intuitionism and Formalism. 'Essentially incomplete' because there was - and still exists - beside Frege's Logicism, Brouwer's Intuitionism and Hilbert's Formalism at least one further position, namely Husserl's phenomenological approach to the foundations of arithmetic, which is also philosophically interesting. In what follows, I want to do two things: First, I will show that the standard dogma regarding the foundations of mathematics is not only incomplete, but also inaccurate, misleading and basically wrong with respect to the three schools themselves. In doing this I hope to make room for Husserl and his phenomenological approach as a viable alternative in the foundations of arithmetic. Second, I will show how Husserl's phenomenological point of view is a position that fits exactly in between Frege's "logicism", properly understood, and Hilbert's mature proof theory, in which his so called "formalism" turns out to be only a means to an end and not a goal in itself. (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)
I argue that three main interpretations of the aim of Russell’s early logicism in The Principles of Mathematics (1903) are mistaken, and propose a new interpretation. According to this new interpretation, the aim of Russell’s logicism is to show, in opposition to Kant, that mathematical propositions have a certain sort of complete generality which entails that their truth is independent of space and time. I argue that on this interpretation two often-heard objections to Russell’s logicism, deriving from (...) Gödel’s incompleteness theorem and from the non-logical character of some of the axioms of Principia Mathematica respectively, can be seen to be inconclusive. I then proceed to identify two challenges that Russell’s logicism, as presently construed, faces, but argue that these challenges do not appear unanswerable. (shrink)
You’ll be pleased to know that I don’t intend to use these remarks to comment on all of the papers presented at this conference. I won’t try to show that one paper was right about this topic, that another was wrong was about that topic, or that several of our conference participants were talking past one another. Nor will I try to adjudicate any of the discussions which took place in between our sessions. Instead, I’ll use these remarks to make (...) two simple points: one about logicism in the 20th century and one about neo-logicism here at the start of the 21st. (shrink)
This paper has two separate aims, with obvious links between them. First, to present Charles S. Peirce and the pragmatist movement in a historical framework which stresses the close connections of pragmatism with the mainstream of philosophy; second, to deal with a particular controversial issue, that of the supposed logicistic orientation of Peirce's work.
In the first two decades of the century Vvedenskij developed and defended what he took to be an original argument in support of the impossibility of metaphysical knowledge. This argument, which he hailed as a proof, involved an examination of the four laws of thought alone. As it made no appeal to the highly technical analyses found in Kant''s first Critique, Vvedenskij considered it to be more efficient and thereby effective than Kant''s own arguments. Although Vvedenskij''s estimation of his accomplishment (...) actually increased with the passage of time, the proof rested on highly dubious assumptions. (shrink)
In the first two decades of the century Vvedenskij developed and defended what he took to be an original argument in support of the impossibility of metaphysical knowledge. This argument, which he hailed as a "proof," involved an examination of the four laws of thought alone. As it made no appeal to the highly technical analyses found in Kant's first Critique, Vvedenskij considered it to be more efficient and thereby effective than Kant's own arguments. Although Vvedenskij's estimation of his accomplishment (...) actually increased with the passage of time, the âproofâ rested on highly dubious assumptions. (shrink)
This essay examines the philosophical significance of Ω-logic in Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory with choice (ZFC). The dual isomorphism between algebra and coalgebra permits Boolean-valued algebraic models of ZFC to be interpreted as coalgebras. The modal profile of Ω-logical validity can then be countenanced within a coalgebraic logic, and Ω-logical validity can be defined via deterministic automata. I argue that the philosophical significance of the foregoing is two-fold. First, because the epistemic and modal profiles of Ω-logical validity correspond to those of (...) second-order logical consequence, Ω-logical validity is genuinely logical, and thus vindicates a neo-logicist conception of mathematical truth in the set-theoretic multiverse. Second, the foregoing provides a modal-computational account of the interpretation of mathematical vocabulary, adducing in favor of a realist conception of the cumulative hierarchy of sets. (shrink)
Let me start with a well-known story. Kant held that logic and conceptual analysis alone cannot account for our knowledge of arithmetic: “however we might turn and twist our concepts, we could never, by the mere analysis of them, and without the aid of intuition, discover what is the sum [7+5]” (KrV, B16). Frege took himself to have shown that Kant was wrong about this. According to Frege’s logicist thesis, every arithmetical concept can be defined in purely logical terms, and (...) every theorem of arithmetic can be proved using only the basic laws of logic. Hence, Kant was wrong to think that our grasp of arithmetical concepts and our knowledge of arithmetical truth depend on an extralogical source—the pure intuition of time (Frege 1884, §89, §109). Arithmetic, properly understood, is just a part of logic. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to assess the prospects for a neo-logicist development of set theory based on a restriction of Frege's Basic Law V, which we call (RV): PQ[Ext(P) = Ext(Q) [(BAD(P) & BAD(Q)) x(Px Qx)]] BAD is taken as a primitive property of properties. We explore the features it must have for (RV) to sanction the various strong axioms of Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory. The primary interpretation is where ‘BAD’ is Dummett's ‘indefinitely extensible’. 1 Background: what and why? (...) 2 Framework 3 GOOD candidates, indefinite extensibility 4 The framework of (RV) alone, or almost alone 5 The axioms 6 Brief closing. (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)
We examine the sense in which logic is a priori, and explain how mathematical theories can be dichotomized non-trivially into analytic and synthetic portions. We argue that Core Logic contains exactly the a-priori-because-analytically-valid deductive principles. We introduce the reader to Core Logic by explaining its relationship to other logical systems, and stating its rules of inference. Important metatheorems about Core Logic are reported, and its important features noted. Core Logic can serve as the basis for a foundational program that could (...) be called Natural Logicism, an exposition of which will build on the (meta)logical ideas explained here. (shrink)
Most advocates of the so-called “neologicist” movement in the philosophy of mathematics identify themselves as “Neo-Fregeans” (e.g., Hale and Wright): 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 lights of its assumption of axioms of infinity, reducibiity and so on). In this paper I have three aims: firstly, to identify more clearly (...) the primary metaontological 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 (the bad company objection, the embarassment of richness objection, worries about a bloated ontology, etc.); thirdly, to argue that Neo- Russellian forms of neologicism remain viable positions for current philosophers of mathematics. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the prospects for a successful neo–logicist reconstruction of the real numbers, focusing on Bob Hale's use of a cut-abstraction principle. There is a serious problem plaguing Hale's project. Natural generalizations of this principle imply that there are far more objects than one would expect from a position that stresses its epistemological conservativeness. In other words, the sort of abstraction needed to obtain a theory of the reals is rampantly inflationary. I also indicate briefly why this (...) problem is likely to reappear in any neo–logicist reconstruction of real analysis. (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.
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?
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.
This paper has a two-fold objective: to provide a balanced, multi-faceted account of the origins of logicism; to rehabilitate Richard Dedekind as a main logicist. Logicism should be seen as more deeply rooted in the development of modern mathematics than typically assumed, and this becomes evident by reconsidering Dedekind's writings in relation to Frege's. Especially in its Dedekindian and Fregean versions, logicism constitutes the culmination of the rise of ?pure mathematics? in the nineteenth century; and this rise (...) brought with it an inter-weaving of methodological and epistemological considerations. The latter aspect illustrates how philosophical concerns can grow out of mathematical practice, as opposed to being imposed on it from outside. It also sheds new light on the legacy and the lasting significance of logicism today. (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)
Gottlob Frege defined cardinal numbers in terms of value-ranges governed by the inconsistent Basic Law V. Neo-logicists have revived something like Frege's original project by introducing cardinal numbers as primitive objects, governed by Hume's Principle. A neo-logicist foundation for set theory, however, requires a consistent theory of value-ranges of some sort. Thus, it is natural to ask whether we can reconstruct the cardinal numbers by retaining Frege's definition and adopting an alternative consistent principle governing value-ranges. Given some natural assumptions regarding (...) what an acceptable neo-logicistic theory of value-ranges might look like, successfully implementing this alternative approach is impossible. (shrink)
This paper discusses Carnap’s attempts in the late 1920s to provide a formal reconstruction of modern axiomatics.1 One interpretive theme addressed in recent scholarly literature concerns Carnap’s underlying logicism in his philosophy of mathematics from that time, more specifically, his attempt to “reconcile” the logicist approach of reducing mathematics to logic with the formal axiomatic method. For instance, Awodey & Carus characterize Carnap’s manuscript Untersuchungen zur allgemeinen Axiomatik from 1928 as a “large-scale project to reconcile axiomatic definitions with (...) class='Hi'>logicism, and transform implicit into explicit definitions.” It is argued that Carnap’s central idea was to balance a Fregean foundational stance with the modern model-theoretic viewpoint introduced in Hilbert’s Grundlagen der Geometrie ). It was also shown in recent literature that Carnap’s attempt to provide a logicist reconstruction of axiomatics is limited in several ways.2 No closer attention, however, has so far been dedicated to some of the details of his proposed reconciliation. (shrink)
Russell's philosophy is rightly described as a programme of reduction of mathematics to logic. Now the theory of geometry developed in 1903 does not fit this picture well, since it is deeply rooted in the purely synthetic projective approach, which conflicts with all the endeavours to reduce geometry to analytical geometry. The first goal of this paper is to present an overview of this conception. The second aim is more far-reaching. The fact that such a theory of geometry was sustained (...) by Russell compels us to question the meaning of logicism: how is it possible to reconcile Russell's global reductionist standpoint with his local defence of the specificities of geometry? * This paper was first presented at the conference ‘Qu'est ce que la géométrie aux époques modernes et contemporaines?’, organized by the Universität Köln and the Archives Poincaré. I would like to thank Philippe Nabonnand for having enlightened me about the issues relative to projective geometry. I would like also to thank Nicholas Griffin, Brice Halimi, Bernard Linsky, Marco Panza, Ivahn Smadja for their helpful discussions. Many thanks also to the two anonymous referees for their useful suggestions. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This article aims first at showing that Russell's general doctrine according to which all mathematics is deducible 'by logical principles from logical principles' does not require a preliminary reduction of all mathematics to arithmetic. In the Principles, mechanics (part VII), geometry (part VI), analysis (part IV-V) and magnitude theory (part III) are to be all directly derived from the theory of relations, without being first reduced to arithmetic (part II). The epistemological importance of this point cannot be overestimated: Russell's (...) class='Hi'>logicism does not only contain the claim that mathematics is no more than logic, it also contains the claim that the differences between the various mathematical sciences can be logically justified?and thus, that, contrary to the arithmetization stance, analysis, geometry and mechanics are not merely outgrowths of arithmetic. The second aim of this article is to set out the neglected Russellian theory of quantity. The topic is obviously linked with the first, since the mere existence of a doctrine of magnitude, in a work dated from 1903, is a sign of a distrust vis-à-vis the arithmetization programme. After having shown that, despite the works of Cantor, Dedekind and Weierstrass, many mathematicians at the end of the 19th Century elaborated various axiomatic theories of the magnitude, I will try to define the peculiarity of the Russellian approach. I will lay stress on the continuity of the logicist's thought on this point: Whitehead, in the Principia, deepens and generalizes the first Russellian 1903 theory. (shrink)
The present paper is a contribution to the history of logic and its philosophy toward the mid-20th century. It examines the interplay between logic, type theory and set theory during the 1930s and 40s, before the reign of first-order logic, and the closely connected issue of the fate of logicism. After a brief presentation of the emergence of logicism, set theory, and type theory (with particular attention to Carnap and Tarski), Quine’s work is our central concern, since he (...) was seemingly the most outstanding logicist around 1940, though he would shortly abandon that viewpoint and promote first-order logic as all of logic. Quine’s class-theoretic systems NF and ML, and his farewell to logicism, are examined. The last section attempts to summarize the motives why set theory was preferred to other systems, and first orderlogic won its position as the paradigm logic system after the great War. (shrink)
Neo-logicism is, not least in the light of Frege’s logicist programme, an important topic in the current philosophy of mathematics. In this essay, I critically discuss a number of issues that I consider to be relevant for both Frege’s logicism and neo-logicism. I begin with a brief introduction into Wright’s neo-Fregean project and mention the main objections that he faces. In Sect. 2, I discuss the Julius Caesar problem and its possible Fregean and neo-Fregean solution. In Sect. (...) 3, I raise what I take to be a central objection to the position of neo-logicism. In Sect. 4, I attempt to clarify how we should understand Frege’s stipulation that the two sides of an abstraction principle qua contextual definition of a term-forming operator shall be “gleichbedeutend”. In Sect. 5, I consider the options that Frege might have had to establish the analyticity of Hume’s Principle: The number that belongs to the concept F is equal to the number that belongs to the concept G if and only if F and G are equinumerous. Section 6 is devoted to Frege’s two criteria of thought identity. In Sects. 7 and 8, I defend the position of the neo-logicist against an alleged “knock-down argument”. In Sect. 9, I comment on Frege’s description of abstraction in Grundlagen, §64 and the use of the terms “recarving” and “reconceptualization” in the relevant literature on Fregean abstraction and neo-logicism. I argue that Fregean abstraction has nothing to do with the recarving of a sentence content or its decomposition in different ways. I conclude with remarks on global logicism versus local logicisms. (shrink)
In this short letter to Ed Zalta we raise a number of issues with regards to his version of Neo-Logicism. The letter is, in parts, based on a longer manuscript entitled “What Neo-Logicism could not be” which is in preparation. A response by Ed Zalta to our letter can be found on his website: http://mally.stanford.edu/publications.html (entry C3).
A detailed argument is provided for the thesis that Dedekind was a logicist about arithmetic. The rules of inference employed in Dedekind's construction of arithmetic are, by his lights, all purely logical in character, and the definitions are all explicit; even the definition of the natural numbers as the abstract type of simply infinite systems can be seen to be explicit. The primitive concepts of the construction are logical in their being intrinsically tied to the functioning of the understanding.
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)
Frege regarded Hume's Principle as insufficient for a logicist account of arithmetic, as it does not identify the numbers; it does not tell us which objects the numbers are. His solution, generally regarded as a failure, was to propose certain sets as the referents of numerical terms. I suggest instead that numbers are properties of pluralities, where these properties are treated as objects. Given this identification, the truth-conditions of the statements of arithmetic can be obtained from logical principles with the (...) help of definitions, just as the logicist thesis maintains. (shrink)
This paper introduces and evaluates two contemporary approaches of neo-logicism. Our aim is to highlight the diﬀerences between these two neo-logicist programmes and clarify what each projects attempts to achieve. To this end, we ﬁrst introduce the programme of the Scottish school – as defended by Bob Hale and Crispin Wright1 which we believe to be a..
Harold Jeffreys' ideas on the interpretation of probability and epistemology are reviewed. It is argued that with regard to the interpretation of probability, Jeffreys embraces a version of logicism that shares some features of the subjectivism of Ramsey and de Finetti. Jeffreys also developed a probabilistic epistemology, characterized by a pragmatical and constructivist attitude towards notions such as ‘objectivity’, ‘reality’ and ‘causality’. 1 Introductory remarks 2 The interpretation of probability 3 Jeffreys' probabilistic epistemology.
Bertrand Russell's contributions to last century's philosophy and, in particular, to the philosophy of mathematics cannot be overestimated.Russell, besides being, with Frege and G.E. Moore, one of the founding fathers of analytical philosophy, played a major rôle in the development of logicism, one of the oldest and most resilient1 programmes in the foundations of mathematics.Among his many achievements, we need to mention the discovery of the paradox that bears his name and the identification of its logical nature; the generalization (...) to the whole of mathematics of Frege's idea that it is not possible to draw a demarcation line between logic and arithmetic; the programme, carried out with Whitehead, of derivation of mathematics from the logical system of Principia Mathematica ; and the ramified theory of types, devised by Russell to protect the system of PM from the known paradoxes.Although there is an ample literature on these topics, it is quite important to reconsider Russell's contributions to the foundations of mathematics at a time when, as a consequence of the crisis of the classical programmes in the foundations of mathematics, new trends are beginning to develop within the philosophy of mathematics. These are trends which move in a very different direction from that of logicism, intuitionism, and Hilbert's programme.To see this we need to consider that, in spite of profound disagreements on the nature of mathematical activity, on the relationship existing between logic and mathematics, on the causes of and therapies for the paradoxes, etc., logicism, intuitionism, and Hilbert's programme share an important metaphor: the idea that mathematics is an edifice built on unshakable foundations,2 an edifice which makes possible only a cumulative growth of mathematical knowledge.Such a metaphor—which, together with more specific theses belonging to these schools of thought, remained unsupported …. (shrink)
Erratum to: Axiomathes DOI 10.1007/s10516-013-9222-7In the online publication, page 13, line 27, after the sentence “Hence, neo-logicism is doomed to failure.”, the following two sentences were missing:This argument was developed by Robert Trueman in a draft of his paper ‘Sham Names andion’. A revised version of this paper is forthcoming in Philosophia Mathematica under the tile ‘A Dilemma for Neo-Fregeanism’.
Some widely accepted arguments in the philosophy of mathematics are fallacious because they rest on results that are provable only by using assumptions that the con- clusions of these arguments seek to undercut. These results take the form of bicon- ditionals linking statements of logic with statements of mathematics. George Boolos has given an argument of this kind in support of the claim that certain facts about second-order logic support logicism, the view that mathematics—or at least part of it—reduces (...) to logic. Hilary Putnam has offered a similar argument for the view that it is indifferent whether we take mathematics to be about objects or about what follows from certain postulates. In this paper I present and rebut these arguments. (shrink)
One important achievement Rudolf Carnap claimed for his book, The Logical Syntax of Language, was that it effected a synthesis of two seemingly antithetical philosophies of mathematics, logicism and formalism. Reconciling these widely divergent conceptions had been a goal of Carnap’s for several years. But in the years in which Carnap’s synthesis evolved, important intellectual developments influenced the direction of his efforts and, ultimately, the final outcome. These developments were, first of all, the epoch-making theorems proved by Kurt Gödel, (...) which required the abandonment of several theses central to the aims of logicism and formalism. Of far greater significance, in the present context, are the changes in Carnap’s own philosophical outlook, brought about not only by Gödel’s theorems but concurrent discussions within the Vienna Circle as well as his own researches. Consequently, the exact sense in which Carnap attempted the synthesis of logicism and formalism in the Logical Syntax requires careful examination. In what follows below, the evolution of Carnap’s synthesis will be traced, from the first reconciliation he proposed , through the synthesis that appeared with the publication of The Logical Syntax of Language. The aim is to determine which modifications of Carnap’s synthesis were required by Gödel’s theorems, and which were motivated by changes in his own thinking. Although the characteristic theses of both logicism and formalism required profound modifications because of Gödel’s theorems, the philosophical impulses that originally fueled their programs retained much of their former virulence. But the changes in Carnap’s thought that ocurred in the years he was developing his synthesis especially affected his appreciation of the philosophical motivations underwriting the logicist approach, so that much of the philosophical insight that inspired it is lost, and Carnap’s combination of logicism and formalism is a putative synthesis at best. (shrink)
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)
According to the received view, Russell rediscovered about 1900 the logical definition of cardinal number given by Frege in 1884. In the same way, we are told, he stated and developed independently the idea of logicism, using the principle of abstraction as the philosophical ground. Furthermore, the role commonly ascribed in this to Peano was only to invent an appropriate notation to be used as mere instrument. In this paper I hold that the study of Russell's unpublished manuscripts and (...) Peano's (and disciples) writings (as part of a larger investigation only pointed out here) shows, on the contrary, that Russell obtained the method to transform definitions by abstraction into nominal definitions and the general logicist idea from Peano (and his school). The only original insight from Russell, the principle of abstraction, partially derived from Moore's early philosophy, was finally abandoned because it was not of practical use. (shrink)