Category Archives: jhap

On the Curious Calculi of Wittgenstein and Spencer Brown

Volume 6.10 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Gregory Landini entitled “On the Curious Calculi of Wittgenstein and Spencer Brown”. Here is an abstract:

In his Tractatus, Wittgenstein sets out what he calls his N-operator notation which can be used to calculate whether an expression is a tautology. In his Laws of Form, George Spencer Brown offers what he calls a “primary algebra” for such calculation. Both systems are perplexing. But comparing two blurry images can reduce noise, producing a focus. This paper reveals that Spencer Brown independently rediscovered the quantifier-free part of the N-operator calculus. The comparison sheds a flood light on each and from the letters of correspondence we shall find that Russell, as one might have surmised, was a catalyst for both.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Truth, Meaning, and Interpretation: A Reconsideration of Davidson’s Program

Volume 6.9 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Arpy Khatchirian entitled “Truth, Meaning, and Interpretation: A Reconsideration of Davidson’s Program”. Here is an abstract:

On a common reading of Davidson, the motivation for his proposal that a meaning theory is to take the form of a truth theory is at least partly guided by concern with the ends and means of interpretation. At the same time, the consensus seems to be that this proposal faces a particularly stubborn justificatory burden. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to suggest that there is a promising route to discharging this burden, albeit one that is visible only once we shift our attention away from the so-called ‘problem of interpretation’; second, to make the case that, contrary to initial appearances, the line of justification offered here gives us a plausible interpretation of Davidson’s own goals.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Three Positivist Disputes in the 1960s / Review of Work on Frege

Volume 6.8 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Carl-Göran Heidegren entitled “Three Positivist Disputes in the 1960s”. Here is an abstract:

The West German positivist dispute in the 1960s is well known and thoroughly studied. At about the same time positivist disputes also took place in two Scandinavian countries: one in Norway and one in Sweden. What did the front lines in the debate look like in the three countries? What was the outcome of the different disputes? The main focus in the article is on the Swedish case, but some comparative perspectives relating to the three disputes will also be presented. The Swedish positivist dispute originated with Gerard Radnitzky’s doctoral dissertation in theory of science, defended at the University of Gothenburg in May 1968, Contemporary Schools of Metascience (2 volumes). The dissertation caused a stir of controversy. It meant a challenge to the Swedish philsophical establishment because it leaned heavily on continental philosophers such as Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas, who at the time were more or less unknown in Sweden. The controversy was continuated in the following years, most notably in the leftist journal Häften för kritiska studier (Notebooks for Critical Studies).

The volume also contains a review of Pieranna Garavaso and Nicla Vassallo, Frege on Thinking and Its Epistemic Significance  (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015), written by Rasa Davidaviciute.

Marcus Rossberg assumes role of Editor in Chief at JHAP

Marcus Rossberg (UConn) has assumed the role of Editor in Chief of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy. Marcus works on philosophy of logic and mathematics as well as on Frege (he’s co-editor and co-translator of the new English edition of Frege’s Basic Laws) and Nelson Goodman. He succeeds Kevin Klement (UMass), who has concluded a productive three-year term. Kevin remains on the editorial board. Many thanks to Kevin for his service.

Collections in Early Bolzano

Volume 6.7 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Stefania Centrone and Mark Siebel entitled “Collections in Early Bolzano.” Here is an abstract:

There are quite a few studies on late Bolzano’s notion of a collection (Inbegriff). We try to broaden the perspective by scrutinising the forerunner of collections in Bolzano’s early writings, namely the entities referred to by expressions with the technical term “et”. Special emphasis is laid on the question whether these entities are set-theoretical or mereological plenties. Moreover, similarities and differences to Bolzano’s mature conception are pointed out. We argue that early Bolzano’s particular blend of set-theoretical and mereological features is best interpreted as a set-theoretically enhanced mereology.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Roman Ingarden and Verificationism

Volume 6.6 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

This is issue deals with Roman Ingarden’s critique of verificationism. It begins with a translation, by Bernard Linsky, of Ingarden’s “The Logical Attempt at a New Formulation of Philosophy: A Critical Remark”. Here is an abstract:

This is the first English translation of Roman Ingarden’s paper presented at the 8th World Congress of Philosophy held in Prague in 1934: “Der Logistische Versuch einer Neugestaltung der Philosophie: Eine Kritische Bemerkung”, translated here as “The Logical Attempt at a New Formulation of Philosophy: A Critical Remark”. Also translated here are brief discussions by Rudolf Carnap and Otto Neurath. These essays were published in the original German in the Proceedings of the Congress in 1936. This statement of Ingarden’s criticisms of the doctrines of the Vienna Circle has been mentioned in print, but his views have not been discussed, or indeed accurately reported to date.

Secondly, the volume contains a companion paper by Francis Jeffry Pelletier and Bernard Linsky, entitled “Verification: The Hysteron Proteron Argument”:

This paper investigates the strange case of an argument that was directed against a positivist verification principle. We find an early occurrence of the argument in a talk by the phenomenologist Roman Ingarden at the 1934 International Congress of Philosophy in Prague, where Carnap and Neurath were present and contributed short rejoinders. We discuss the underlying presuppositons of the argument, and we evaluate whether the attempts by Carnap (especially) actually succeed in answering this argument. We think they don’t, and offer instead a few sociological thoughts about why the argument seems to have disappeared from the profession’s evaluaton of the positivist criterion of verifiability.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Why “is at”? —On Quine’s Objection to Carnap’s Aufbau in “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”

Volume 6.4 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open access.

It features an article by Ka Ho Lam entitled ‘Why “is at”? —On Quine’s Objection to Carnap’s Aufbau in “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”’. Here is an Abstract:

In “Two Dogmas”, Quine indicates that Carnap’s Aufbau fails “in principle” to reduce our knowledge of the external world to sense data. This is because in projecting the sensory material to reconstruct the physical world, Carnap gives up the use of operating rules and switches to a procedure informed by general principles. This procedure falls short of providing an eliminative translation for the connective “is at”, which is necessary for the reduction. In dissecting Quine’s objection, I argue that Quine has at best proven the claim that the use of general principles essentially fails the task of radical reductionism. However, in order to establish the conclusion that the Aufbau fails in principle, Quine needs to further vindicate two other claims. They are: first, a switch from operating rules to general principles is necessary; second, the set of general principles Carnap adopts is the best alternative. By disambiguating the notion of “explicit definition” and examining the concept of definability in the Aufbau, I explore the possibility of justifying these two claims that Quine overlooks in his objection. The result suggests that Quine’s objection stands in tension with his radical reductionist reading of the Aufbau.

The volume also contains a review of Anna Boncompagni’s Wittgenstein and Pragmatism. On Certainty in the Light of Peirce and James, written by Annalisa Coliva.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Method, Science, and Mathematics: Neo-Kantianism and Analytic Philosophy

Volume 6.3 of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open access.

This issue is a special volume edited by Scott Edgar and Lydia Patton dedicated to Neo-Kantianism and Analytic Philosophy. The volume contains eleven substantial articles, as well as an introductory essay. Here is an abstract:

At its core, analytic philosophy concerns urgent questions about philosophy’s relation to the formal and empirical sciences, questions about philosophy’s relation to psychology and the social sciences, and ultimately questions about philosophy’s place in a broader cultural landscape. This picture of analytic philosophy shapes this collection’s focus on the history of the philosophy of mathematics, physics, and psychology. The following essays uncover, reflect on, and exemplify modes of philosophy that are engaged with these allied disciplines. They make the case that, to the extent that analytic philosophers are still concerned with philosophy’s ties to these disciplines, we would do well to pay attention to neo-Kantian views on those ties.

Table of contents

  1. Scott Edgar: Volume Introduction
  2. Gary Hatfield: Helmholtz and Philosophy: Science, Perception, and Metaphysics, with Variations on Some Fichtean Themes
  3. Liesbet De Kock: Historicizing Hermann von Helmholtz’s Psychology of Differentiation
  4. R. Brian Tracz: Helmholtz on Perceptual Properties
  5. Matthias Neuber: Perception and Coincidence in Helmholtz’s Theory of Measurement
  6. Paola Cantù: The Epistemological Question of the Applicability of Mathematics
  7. Francesca Biagioli: Articulating Space in Terms of Transformation Groups: Helmholtz and Cassirer
  8. Samantha Matherne: Cassirer’s Psychology of Relations: From the Psychology of Mathematics and Natural Science to the Psychology of Culture
  9. Janet Folina: After Non-Euclidean Geometry: Intuition, Truth and the Autonomy of Mathematics
  10. Georg Schiemer: Cassirer and the Structural Turn in Modern Geometry
  11. Thomas Ryckman: Cassirer and Dirac on the Symbolic Method in Quantum Mechanics: A Confluence of Opposites
  12. Erik C. Banks: Grete Hermann as Neo-Kantian Philosopher of Space and Time Representation

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Semantic Non-factualism in Kripke’s Wittgenstein

Volume 5.9 of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy is now online, with full open-access.

It features an article entitled “Semantic Non-factualism in Kripke’s Wittgenstein” by Daniel Boyd. Here is an abstract:

Kripke’s Wittgenstein is standardly understood as a non-factualist about meaning ascription. Non-factualism about meaning ascription is the idea that sentences like “Joe means addition by ‘plus’” are not used to state facts about the world. Byrne and Kusch have argued that Kripke’s Wittgenstein is not a non-factualist about meaning ascription. They are aware that their interpretation is non-standard, but cite arguments from Boghossian and Wright to support their view. Boghossian argues that non-factualism about meaning ascription is incompatible with a deflationary theory of truth. Wright argues that non-factualism about meaning ascription is incoherent. To support the standard interpretation, I’ll respond to each argument in turn. To the degree that my responses are successful, Byrne and Kusch have an unmotivated interpretation of Kripke’s Wittgenstein. Wilson provides a factualist interpretation that is not based on Boghossian and Wright’s arguments. Miller argues for a non-factualist interpretation against Wilson, but I’ll show that Miller’s interpretation faces a dilemma. Miller’s argument cannot be maintained if a coherent interpretation of the skeptical solution is to be provided. I’ll show how this dilemma can be avoided and provide an independent argument against Wilson so that a non-factualist interpretation of the skeptical solution can be maintained.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

“The Tragedy of Verbal Metaphysics” by Leon Chwistek

Volume 5.1 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published.

It features a translation by Adam Trybus and Bernard Linsky of Leon Chwistek’s “The Tragedy of Verbal Metaphysics”. Here is an abstract:

This is the first English translation of Leon Chwistek’s “Tragedia werbalnej metafizyki (Z powodu książki Dra Ingardena: Das literarische Kunstwerk),” Kwartalnik Filozoficzny, Vol. X, 1932, 46–76. Chwistek offers a scathing critique of Roman Ingarden’s Das literarische Kunstwerk (translated into English as The Literary Work of Art) and of the entire Phenomenology movement. The text also contains many hints at Chwistek’s own philosophical and formal ideas. The book that Chwistek reviews attracted wide attention and was instrumental in winning Ingarden a position as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lwów in 1933. Chwistek’s alienation from his fellow logicians of the Lvov-Warsaw school is clear from his ridicule of Leśniewski’s project.

The volume also contains a review of Chon Tejedor, The Early Wittgenstein on Metaphysics, Natural Science, Language and Value (Routledge 2015), written by Peter Hanks.

JHAP is available at https://jhaponline.org. All articles are freely available and open access. Submissions welcome!