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What does it mean to say that logic is formal?
, 2000
"... Much philosophy of logic is shaped, explicitly or implicitly, by the thought that logic is distinctively formal and abstracts from material content. The distinction between formal and material does not appear to coincide with the more familiar contrasts between a priori and empirical, necessary and ..."
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Much philosophy of logic is shaped, explicitly or implicitly, by the thought that logic is distinctively formal and abstracts from material content. The distinction between formal and material does not appear to coincide with the more familiar contrasts between a priori and empirical, necessary and contingent, analytic and synthetic—indeed, it is often invoked to explain these. Nor, it turns out, can it be explained by appeal to schematic inference patterns, syntactic rules, or grammar. What does it mean, then, to say that logic is distinctively formal? Three things: logic is said to be formal (or “topicneutral”) (1) in the sense that it provides constitutive norms for thought as such, (2) in the sense that it is indifferent to the particular identities of objects, and (3) in the sense that it abstracts entirely from the semantic content of thought. Though these three notions of formality are by no means equivalent, they are frequently run together. The reason, I argue, is that modern talk of the formality of logic has its source in Kant, and these three notions come together in the context of Kant’s transcendental philosophy. Outside of this context (e.g., in Frege), they can come apart. Attending to this
1 Knowledge and the Heuristics of Folk Epistemology
"... Epistemologists, like other philosophers, sometimes try to convince us of the truth of their claims about the nature of knowledge by appeals to our epistemic intuitions. Sometimes intuitions are gathered and deployed against an epistemological theory: as, for example, when our ..."
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Epistemologists, like other philosophers, sometimes try to convince us of the truth of their claims about the nature of knowledge by appeals to our epistemic intuitions. Sometimes intuitions are gathered and deployed against an epistemological theory: as, for example, when our
THE RELIABILITY CHALLENGE AND THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF LOGIC
"... This paper concerns a problem in the epistemology of logic. This problem is an analogue of the BenacerrafField problem for mathematical Platonism. It is also an analogue of ..."
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This paper concerns a problem in the epistemology of logic. This problem is an analogue of the BenacerrafField problem for mathematical Platonism. It is also an analogue of
1 PYTHAGOREAN POWERS or A CHALLENGE TO PLATONISM
"... I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. Bertrand Russell, Autobiography, vol. 1, Prologue. The Quine/Putnam indispensability argument is regarded by many as the chief argument for the existence of platonic objects. We argue that this argument cannot ..."
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I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. Bertrand Russell, Autobiography, vol. 1, Prologue. The Quine/Putnam indispensability argument is regarded by many as the chief argument for the existence of platonic objects. We argue that this argument cannot establish what its proponents intend. The form of our argument is simple. Suppose indispensability to science is the only good reason for believing in the existence of platonic objects. Either the dispensability of mathematical objects to science can be demonstrated and, hence, there is no good reason for believing in the existence of platonic objects, or their dispensability cannot be demonstrated and, hence, there is no good reason for believing in the existence of mathematical objects which are genuinely platonic. Therefore, indispensability, whether true or false, does not support platonism. Mathematical platonists claim that at least some of the objects
Chapter 3
"... In this essay, I consider the ontological status of spacetime from the points of view of the standard tensor formalism and three alternatives: twistor theory, Einstein algebras, and geometric algebra. I briefly review how classical field theories can be formulated in each of these formalisms, and in ..."
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In this essay, I consider the ontological status of spacetime from the points of view of the standard tensor formalism and three alternatives: twistor theory, Einstein algebras, and geometric algebra. I briefly review how classical field theories can be formulated in each of these formalisms, and indicate how this suggests a structural realist interpretation of spacetime. 1.
Springer, New York 2009. Indiscrete Variations on GianCarlo Rota’s Themes
"... I never met GianCarlo Rota but I have often made references to his writings on the philosophy of mathematics, sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing. In this paper I will discuss his views concerning four questions: the existence of mathematical objects, definition in mathematics, the notion of ..."
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I never met GianCarlo Rota but I have often made references to his writings on the philosophy of mathematics, sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing. In this paper I will discuss his views concerning four questions: the existence of mathematical objects, definition in mathematics, the notion of