Tag Archives: jhap

Denoting Concepts and Ontology in Russell’s Principles of Mathematics

Volume 10.7 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access:

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/issue/view/480

It features an article by Wouter Adriaan Cohen, entitled “Denoting Concepts and Ontology in Russell’s Principles of Mathematics.” Here is the abstract:

Bertrand Russell’s Principles of Mathematics (1903) gives rise to several interpretational challenges, especially concerning the theory of denoting concepts. Only relatively recently, for instance, has it been properly realised that Russell accepted denoting concepts that do not denote anything. Such empty denoting concepts are sometimes thought to enable Russell, whether he was aware of it or not, to avoid commitment to some of the problematic non-existent entities he seems to accept, such as the Homeric gods and chimeras. In this paper, I argue first that the theory of denoting concepts in Principles of Mathematics has been generally misunderstood. According to the interpretation I defend, if a denoting concept shifts what a proposition is about, then the aggregate of the denoted terms will also be a constituent of the proposition. I then show that Russell therefore could not have avoided commitment to the Homeric gods and chimeras by appealing to empty denoting concepts. Finally, I develop what I think is the best understanding of the ontology of Principles of Mathematics by interpreting some difficult passages.

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

Writing Conversationalists into History / Review of work on Carnap, Quine, and Putnam

Volume 10.6 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access:

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/issue/view/478

It features an article by James Pearson, entitled “Writing Conversationalists into History: The Case of Burton Dreben.” Here is the abstract:

Burton Dreben taught a generation of scholars the value of closely attending to the recent philosophical past. But the few papers he authored do little to capture his philosophical voice. In this article, I turn instead to an unpublished transcript of Dreben in conversation with his contemporaries. In addition to yielding insights into a transitional period in W.V. Quine’s and Donald Davidson’s thought, I argue that this document showcases Dreben in his element, revealing the way that he shaped the views of key analytic philosophers. More broadly, I argue that by writing conversationalists like Dreben into our histories we can capture the collaborative nature of philosophy.

The volume also contains a review of Gary Ebbs, Carnap, Quine, and Putnam on Methods of Inquiry (Cambridge University Press, 2017), written by Cory F. Juhl.

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

Two Poles Worlds Apart: Chwistek, Ingarden and the Split Between Phenomenology and Analytic Philosophy

Volume 10.5 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access:

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/issue/view/477

It features an article by Adam Trybus and Bernard Linsky, entitled “Two Poles Worlds Apart: Chwistek, Ingarden and the Split Between Phenomenology and Analytic Philosophy.” Here is the abstract:

The article describes the background of Roman Ingarden’s 1922 review of Leon Chwistek’s book Wielość rzeczywistości (The Plurality of Realities), and the back-and-forth that followed. Despite the differences, the two shared some interesting similarities. Both authors had important ties to the intellectual happenings outside Poland and were not considered mainstream at home. In the end, however, it is these connections that allowed them to gain recognition. Ingarden, who had been a student of Husserl, became the leading phenomenologist in the postwar Poland. For Chwistek, a painter, philosopher, and logician interested in Russell’s work, such connections meant that he won the competition for a professorship at the university in Lwów over Alfred Tarski. Until recently, Chwistek’s place in Polish logic remains unclear and Ingarden’s interactions with Polish logic and the Vienna Circle have not been investigated extensively. A deeper look at this intellectual fracas between Ingarden and Chwistek helps one in the study of the complicated mesh of alliances within the Lwów-Warsaw School. The article also identifies the origins of the split between phenomenology and the analytic philosophical tradition in Poland.

The article is also accompanied by the translations of the reviews.

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

Susan Stebbing’s Intellectualism


Volume 10.4 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access:

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/issue/view/472

It features an article by Bryan Pickel, entitled “Susan Stebbing’s Intellectualism.” Here is the abstract:

This paper reconstructs Susan Stebbing’s account of intelligent dealing with a problem and defends this account against charges that it relies on a “censurable kind” of intellectualism. This charge was made in Stebbing’s own time by Laird and Wittgenstein. Michael Kremer has recently made the case that Stebbing is also a proximate target of Gilbert Ryle’s attack on intellectualism. This paper argues that Stebbing should indeed be counted as an intellectualist since she holds that intelligent dealing with a problem requires propositional thought. Yet, for Stebbing, thinking is an activity of a whole person and is enabled and constrained by their dispositions. This complex picture of a thinker enables Stebbing’s account to resist arguments targeting certain forms of intellectualism such as Ryle’s regress argument. It also helps her to respond to the charge that she overemphasizes the importance of intellectual failures. On the picture that emerges, Stebbing offers a strikingly modern epistemology that incorporates the social features of a person as well as their purely intellectual features.

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

Wittgenstein’s Reductio / Review of work on Necessity

Volume 10.3 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access:

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/issue/view/471

It features an article by Gilad Nir, entitled “Wittgenstein’s Reductio.” Here is the abstract:

By means of a reductio argument, Wittgenstein’s Tractatus calls into question the very idea that we can represent logical form. My paper addresses three interrelated questions: first, what conception of logical form is at issue in this argument? Second, whose conception of logic is this argument intended to undermine? And third, what could count as an adequate response to it? I show that the argument construes logical form as the universal, underlying correlation of any representation and the reality it represents. I further show that the argument seeks to undermine core commitments of Frege’s and Russell’s. But the reductio, as I read it, is not intended to establish the falsity of any of their specific assumptions. Rather, its aim is to make manifest the indeterminacies that underlie the language in which these assumptions are framed, and establish the need for a transformation of that language. So understood, Wittgenstein’s argument exemplifies his idea that philosophy is not a theory, but an activity of elucidation. The interpretation I propose bears on one of the central debates in the literature, namely how we should understand Wittgenstein’s contention that his elucidations succeed despite being nonsensical.

The volume also contains a review of Sanford Shieh, Necessity Lost (Oxford University Press, 2019), written by Roberta Ballarin.

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

Analysis, Decomposition, and Unity in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus / Review of work on Race and Gender

Volume 10.2 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access:

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/issue/view/469

It features an article by Oliver Thomas Spinney, entitled, “Analysis, Decomposition, and Unity in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus.” Here is the abstract:

I argue, through appeal to the distinction between analysis and decomposition described by Dummett, that Wittgenstein employs both of those notions in the Tractatus. I then bring this interpretation to bear upon the issue of propositional unity, where I formulate an objection to the views of both Leonard Linksy and José Zalabardo. I show that both Linsky and Zalabardo fail to acknowledge the distinction between analysis and decomposition present in the Tractatus, and that they consequently mischaracterise Wittgenstein’s position with respect to propositional unity.

The volume also contains a review of Matt LaVine, Race, Gender, and the History of Early Analytic Philosophy (Lexington, 2020), written by James Pearson.

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

Mackie and the Meaning of Moral Terms / Review of work on Frege

Volume 10.1 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access:

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/issue/view/464

It features an article by Tammo Lossau, entitled, “Mackie and the Meaning of Moral Terms.” Here is the abstract:

Moral error theory is comprised of two parts: a denial of the existence of objective values, and a claim about the ways in which we attempt to make reference to such objective values. John Mackie is sometimes presented as endorsing the view that we necessarily presuppose such objective values in our moral language and thought. In a series of recent papers, though, Victor Moberger (2017), Selim Berker (2019), and Michael Ridge (2020) point out that Mackie does not seem to commit himself to this view. They argue that Mackie thinks this reference to objective values can, and perhaps should, be detached from our moral statements and judgments. In this paper, I argue that Moberger, Berker, and Ridge are right to point out that Mackie stops short of claiming a necessary connection between moral language and a commitment to objective values, but that he does not endorse the contrary claim either. Instead, Mackie stays neutral on the question whether it is possible to assert moral statements or make moral judgments without presupposing objective value. This is because he does not need to take a position on this matter. Mackie only engages with the conceptual analysis of moral language and thought to the extent required to achieve his argumentative goals: he wants to reject revisionary analyses of moral language and to refute the idea that we can assume moral truths to be in alignment with ordinary moral language.

The volume also contains a review of Joan Weiner, Taking Frege at his Word (OUP, 2021), written by Hans Sluga.

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

Frege in Philosophical-Historical Context

Volume 9.11 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access:

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/issue/view/461

This special issue was edited by Juliet Floyd and Sanford Shieh and consists of the following papers, as well as an introduction.

“Frege, Hankel, and Formalism in the Foundations” by Richard Lawrence: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/5007

“Frege’s Curiously Two-Dimensional Concept-Script” by Landon D. C. Elkind: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/5008

“Logical Concepts vs. Logical Operations: Two Traditions of Logic Re-revisited” by Tabea Rohr: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/5010

“The Fate of the Act of Synthesis: Kant, Frege, and Husserl on the Role of Subjectivity in Presentation and Judgment” by Jacob Rump: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/5030

“Frege on the Fruitfulness of Definitions” by Rachel Boddy: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/5031

“Strictures on an Exhibition: Frege on his Primitive Laws” by Alexander Yates: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/5033

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

Carnap and Quine on Sense and Nonsense

Volume 9.10 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access:

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/issue/view/456

It features an article by James Andrew Smith, entitled, “Carnap and Quine on Sense and Nonsense.” Here is the abstract:

I offer an interpretation of Carnap and Quine’s views on cognitive significance and insignificance. The basic idea behind their views is as follows: to judge an expression is insignificant is to recommend it not be used in or explicated into languages used to express truth-valued judgments in inquiry; to judge an expression is significant is to recommend it be used in or explicated into such languages. These judgments are pragmatic judgments, made in light of purposes for language use in inquiry. For Carnap at least, these pragmatic judgments are non-cognitive. This basic idea is only a roughly correct statement of their views. This is because the details of the scientific languages they recommend for inquiry are necessary to understand their views and the way they understand their own views. Even so, I offer two reasons to suggest that this basic idea is worthy of our consideration today. First, it provides a conception of significance that captures the natural thought that epistemological concerns can lead us to consider expressions to be insignificant without requiring an objectionable form of verificationism. Second, if we appeal also to Carnap and Quine’s pluralistic attitude toward explication, we can make a pragmatic judgment that an expression is insignificant while judging it to be significant on a distinct explication of significance fit for describing and explaining natural language.

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

Recovering the History of Analytic Philosophy with Stanley Cavell

Volume 9.9 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access:

https://jhaponline.org/jhap/issue/view/451

This special issue was edited by Edward Guetti and G. Anthony Bruno and consists of the following seven papers, as well as an introduction by Edward Guetti.

“Cavell and Philosophical Vertigo” by Duncan Pritchard: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/4914

“Schelling, Cavell, and the Truth of Skepticism” by G. Anthony Bruno: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/4919

“Stanley Cavell on What We Say” by Arata Hamawaki: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/4915

“Cavell and the ‘History of the Rejection of the Human'” by Edward Guetti: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/4913

“Cavell’s Method: Pursuing and Subverting the Analytic Tradition” by Sandra Laugier: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/4916

“Cavell and the Quest for a Voice: The Importance of the Notion “Claim” in Aesthetics and Ethics” by Sofia Miguens: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/4917

“Logic and Voice: Stanley Cavell and Analytic Philosophy” by Espen Hammer: https://jhaponline.org/jhap/article/view/4918

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