Philosophy o Logic f

405

(3) p and not -p.
And still another principle is the validity of this:

(4) p or not -9.

Philosophy o f Logic
Hilary Putnam
1 What Logic Is
Let us start by asking what logic is, and then try to see why there should be a philosophical problem about logic. We might try to find out what logic is by examining various definitions of 'logic', but this would be a bad idea. The various extant definitions of 'logic' manage to combine circularity with inexactness in one way or another. Instead let us look at logic itself. If we look at logic itself, we first notice that logic, like every other science, undergoes changes - sometimes rapid changes. In different centuries logicians have had very different ideas concerning the scope of their subject, the methods proper to it, etc. Today the scope of logic is defined much more broadly than it ever was in the past, so that logic as some logicians conceive it, comes to include all of pure mathematics. Also, the methods used in logical research today are almost exclusively mathematical ones. However, certain aspects of logic seem to undergo little change. Logical results, once established, seem to remain forever accepted as correct - that is, logic changes not in the sense that we accept incompatible logical principles in different centuries, but in the sense that the style and notation that we employ in setting out logical principle varies enormoudy, and in the sense that the province marked out for logic tends to get larger and larger. It seems wise, then, to begin by looking at a few of r w pmnciplm that h logicians have accepted virtually from the beginning. One such principle is the validity of the following inference: (1) All S arc! M All M are P (therefore) All S are P

Let us now look at these principles one by one. Inference (1) is traditionally stated to be valid for all t m S, M, P. But what is a term? Texts of contemporary logic usually say that (1) is valid no matter what classes may be assigned to the letters S, M and P as their extensions. Inference (1) then becomes just a way of saying that if a class S is a subclass of a class M,and M is in turn a subclass of a class P, then S is a subclass of P. In short, (1) on its modern interpretation just expresses the transitivity of the relation 'subclass of I.This is a far cry from what traditional logicians thought they were doing when they talked about Laws of Thought and 'terms'. Here we have one of the confusing things about the science of logic: that even where a principle may seem to have undergone no change in the course of the centuries - e.g. we still write:

Al S are M l
All A4 are P (therefore) A l S are P l
- the interpretation of the 'unchanging' truth has, in fact, changed considerably.

Another is the Law of Identity: (2) x is identical with x. Yet another is the incomisten~ the following: of

what is worse, there is still some controversy about what the 'correct' interpretation is. Principle (2) is another example of a ~rinciple whose correct interpretation is in dispute. T h e interpretation favoured by most logicians (including the present writer) is that (2) asserts that the relation of identiq is reflexive: everything bears this relation (currently symb~lized '=') to itself. Some philosophers are very unhappy, however, at the very idea that '=' is a relation. 'How can we make sense of a relation', they ask, 'except as something a thing cdn bear to aanothm thing?"Sim nothiig can bear identiq to a diffirent thing, they conclude thot whatever '=' may stand for, it does not stand for a relation. Fnly (3) and (4) raise the problem: what does p stand for? Some philmphers ial, urg.e that in (4), for example, p scan& for any s m t w you like, whereas other philosophers, including the proeent h t e r , find something ridiculous in the theory that logic is about sentences, Still, all this disagreement about f i e points should not be allowed to c-hmre the existence of a substantial body of agreement among all logia';tras - erea lo9;cians in different centuries. A l 1ogich.m agree, fw example, rtLat frcrm tlte l premiwes:

All men are mortal All mortals are unsatisfied

uage9. far thm it BI W IX h t to ity of (5) is not to talk about 'claws' at all. cbnames. so that the task of telling whether a certain of letters is or is not a 'substitution. however. For what m it s k m t by a 'word or p h e of the appropriate kind7in(B)? Evm if we Pvrtivt h e p m b h of just what constitutes the 'appropriate kind' of word or phrase. although a nominalist wouldn't be aught d d calling than i specified by a formal grammatical d e . A formof& finperuagc is gvn by completely specifying a grammar together with the meanfng~lof the ie baeic trpmions.e.instance' of (1) (as the =it of a ble substitutionis called) can even be performed purely mwhanidy. ail fogicinns agree that if there is such a thing PI rhYc Eiffel Tower. M.i n s t . In fwt. at Iarst when it cams to getting an exact and d v d y amp& gl. (5) If all S are M and all M are P. And surely owtf-Y ~ c r e t . we m w face the fact that what is meant is all posibk words and p kine or other. m. P in: M. i. rhat (B) cannot really be preferable to (A). given a formP3lzcd s L. % &ere & a M y of ' m a t doctrine' in Iogic. h hof (5) (in some definite L) are m e . thtn Independently of the merits of this or that position on the 'noMiSm-&' b. Olnc way is to ~y that dre nppmphte "hrases' that one may substitute for S.oritmayk .ph% prdiam 6. P arc all the 'mepredicates' in a m a i n ' f o m l i z d he.or are they? e -Wkitrnayexpregsaw9 ~w~~haretosee). Which expressions in such a hguage are ofts.Philosophy of Logic a?re may 407 u&dly infer: +vet if they aometima ditragree a b u t the proper statmmt ofthe general principle rurdwfying &is infmne. ofn ~ ~ : s (9 in of letters' f language L) are true.rtQntRt of rht g m d principles. then all S are P a be defined with great precision. b a mputing machine. i clear. and that possible wordr andphrascs are no more %onm Ttte Eiffel Tower i i d a t i d w t the Eiffei Tower s ih ehat (if there is such a thiig b ~ 3'the 6') if dktqpte a b u t the statement of the relevant principle in t h ctacs ~ too. the class of permissible substitutions for the dummy lcttm 5. my. This h u e is sometimes dodged in various ways. C~CW to satisfying nominalimic scruples. but it jusr doesn't I m e very fir.e. that d t b rtdngs d f e s l d o r m to a certain formal criterion &&~ga r m b s d r ~ ~ ~ . Simikly. but merely to say that il l @ t i ~ f ~ .

My P. L t 4 be any other formalized e lanW%e. One problm settms to be salved by the foregoing reflections. or more compulsive about avoiding reference to 'non-physical entities'. or mental padcular~ and physical things in a dualistic system) alone are r d may not be what Goodman intends to defend. To put it another way. and there little motive for being a nominalist apart from some such view. (The distinction between a restriction to 'physical entities' and a restriction to 'mental &dm' or 'physical things md m a d particulars' will not be discussed here. the proposed nominalistic definition of validity requires the notion of 'truth'.not just logical ones.e. replaces our lnmitive notion of validity by m y notions of didity CLS there pwjsible f o d i z & hjpages. so I have taken the liberty of discussing the one quasi-nominalistic attempt I have seen. there is no reason not to stick with such formulations as (A).& 'and. in an idealistic version of nominalism.) The first argument we employ& against formulation (B) was that this formulation~ f l i t . it is rather what the strings of letters express that is true or false. not just in pure logic. First. . . possible string of letters. Secondly. For surely when I say that (5) is valid. if substitution-instances of S in some Particular schema S is valid just in case fomalized language L are true . but an infinite series of such notions: validity in L1. but then we need the notion of all possibleforrnalized languages. in view of the serious problems with such f o r m u ~ o n s as (B). what we g-et. (B). Hamiitonians. and not just things. and by s i n g what rejoinder the nominalist can make to these various difficulties. we mean all possible substitution-instances . is a camonplace and useful c: mode of speech. any more than any other science.).rhat S h has the p r o m that all its substitution--^ in Li are true. But possible substitution-instances of (5) -possible strings of letters . as we have just seen. and of any other statements that logicians (and physicists. in addition to being inadequate.. to conform its mode of speech to the philosophic demands of nominalism. than in scientific discourse gentrally.408 Mathematical Objects I Philosopky of Logic To put it another way. Those who believe that in truth there is nothing answering to such notions as class. It is not up to logic. while the view that only physical entities (or 'mental @alars'. . where each notion amounts simply to 'truth of all substitution-instances' in the appropriate L. But it is a theorem of set theory that no language L can contain names for all the collections of things that could be formed.us & a schema 'valid-&Li' if all its ~ ~ b s t i t u t i ~ ~ -Lb m y in i are "Pee). (And. or that what does answer to such notions is some highly derived way of talking about ordinary material objects. If some formalized language L contained names for all the classes of things that could be formed. biologists. who is the best-hown mninaht philosopher.) - " . or what the string of letters 'expresses'. less 'concrete' than the notion of a 'class'. and just plain men on the street) actually make. is just the sort of entity the nominalist wants to get rid of.not just the ones that happen to 'exist' in the nominalistic sense (as little mounds of ink on paper).Fficuityby the follo&ng kind of move: let Ls be a fo ~ F F rd mough to t about the positive intqps. but also i such empirical sciences as physics (which is full of references to such 'nonn physical' entities as state-vectors.a notion which is. Goodhas never tackled the problem of defining logical validity at 4. ~ ~ f e m cto classes of things. But in the meantime. validity in L2. it is the viewthat m a t people understand by 'nominalism'. one or two general comments. we are not committed to rejecting nominalism as a philosophy. for it might be that there is a false substitution-instance of (5) which just does not happen to have been written down.~ . Goodman denies that nominalism is a restriction to 'physical' entities.g. has never adopted the definition of validity as 'truth of all substitution-instances'.is unsatisfactory on the face of it. To merely say that those instances of (5) which happen to be written down are true would not be to say that (5) is valid. Then it is . If the nominalist wishes us to give it up. if we adopt the nominalist's suggestion. I mean that it is correct no matter what class-names may be substituted for S. But the meaning of a string of letters. is not even really nominalistic. but a difficulty with the philosophy of nominalism. Even if we reject nominalism as a demand that we here and now strip our scientific language of all reference to 'non-physical entities'. And this we shall now p r o d to do. Normally we do not think of material objects . But this is a problematicnotion for a nominalist. since it does not seriously affect: the philosophy of logic. number. the fact that (A) is 'objectionable' on nominalistic grounds is not really a difficulty with the science of logic. he must provide us with an alternative mode of speech which works just as well. however. strings of actually inscribed letters (construed as little mounds of ink on paper) as 'true' or 'false'. ( ~ comes from Hugues Leblanc and Richard m. at least not if the number of things is infinite. Some logicians have tried to meet this di. There is no reason in stating logid principles to be more puristic.) t However. and to e x p m the notions 'x ISthe i & of Y and z' and 'x is the product of y and a'. Hilbert space. then this might come to the same as saying 'all substitution-instances of (5) in L are true'. However.true . Let S be a schema which has the property that al its substitutio* l in are tnue (call this property the p r o m of behg ' ~ d . Thirdly. even in one partic& language L.and the proof can be f o n n a b d in any languag rich contain both the notiom of 'truth in &' and 'truth in Lj' . if anything.. this will affect how we formulate scientific principles . Nelson Goodman. validity in L3.are not really physical objects any more than classes we. when we speak of all substitution-instances of (5). If he ever s u m d s . are free to go on arguing for their view. is not one notion of validity. In other words. Secondly. We may begin by considering the various difficulties we just raised with formulation (B). d o g o ~ ~ lh. etc. We might try to avoid this by saying that a schema Sis valid just in case all of its substitution-instances in every L are true. and our unwillingness to conform our ordinary scientific language to their demands is in no way an unwillingness to discuss the philosophical issues raised by their view. it is rather up to the nominalist to provide a satisfactory reinterpretation of such assertions as (5).

Mathematical Objects Philosophy o Logic f 411 I a schem is valid-in-&.e'does not convince the n e &Aer &at Statements M y &st as non-physical entities. but by virtue of the metamathematical theorem just mentioned that all of its substitution-instances in Li are true. or classes) exist as non-physical entities. about 'classes'. Thus the proposed definition of valid completely fails to capture the intuitive notion even if it is coextensive with the intuitive notion. on the intuitive notion). in a nutshell.lto u n d m m d mch sentcnctel w (8) on the model of their nomhdkic translatiom should be a gaod one. n u s the facr h in 'ordinary language' the wards 'true' and 'W are . however.not by defirrition. and a time. an organism. So 'validity' will justify asserting arbitrary substitution-instances of a schema (as it should. or (b) that (8) does not imply this.) Why should it not be open to the nominalist to assert that some sentences are t m in the sense of having the relation occurring in (7) to suitable organisms at suitable times? Granted that that relation is a complex one. such sentences as (8) are 'philosophically harmless' if c o d y understood. h t the d a t i m fundon p m e synonymy. T o this. Finally. one is tempted to reply that what I mean when I say 'S is valid' directly implies that evay substitution-instance of S (in every formalized language) is true. (How reference to 'times' is to be handled by the ryominalist. to one who foreswears all talk about 'mathematical entities7. it is not the physical sentence that is true or false. it will then follow . The second argument we used was that the notion of 'truth' is not available to a nominalist. for that matter. This argument r e d u w either to the appeal to o r d i h~ just ~ to the mere cl. If S i a physical object (say. The nomidist tarn strengthen this somewhat by adding that it is not necessq. meanings or what have you. 'numbers'. let US simply define 'validity' to mean valid-in-&. and is thus not ' T ~ Y 'n C. (7) involves a &gukd reference to non-physkd mtitp (* 5 ' W-'). perhaps he must identify a 'time7 with a I I " . For the nominalistic logician may simply reply that he is not concerned to capture the 'intuitive' notion. and not part of what I mean that then 5"s substitution-instances in any language are true. But (7) r e p m a a perfectly possible relation which may or m y not obtain between a givm inscription. Be t .rim that really only statemma ( m a d nar m h ~ d ~ and (7) S is true as understoed by Oscar at time t. I think. And the things sentences say. distinguish between I I suitable three-dimensional cross-section of the whole fourdimensional spacetime universe. To be sure. m that a departme fivlrn o r language (in. it follows that these non-physical entities do exist! So nominalism is false! Thus nominalism must be either futile or false. then (6) m k s little s ae indeed. since it is agreed that such talk does not imply that statements (or numbers. Against this the nominalist replies that what he wishes to do is to find a 'translation functiony that will enable us to replace such sentences as (8) by sentences which do not even appear to imply the existence of non-physical entities. is not necessarily devastating. a sentence-eption). On the proposed definition of valid a l that I mean when I say that 'S is valid' is l that S s substitution-instances in & are true. the burden of proof is on the realist to show that that relation essentially presupposes the existence of non-physical entities such as propositions. Thus neither o the language L nor the metamathematical theorem just mentioned is really available to a strict nominalist. about all possibh expressions of L. the fact remains that the language & is one that itself requires talking about 'mathematical entities' (namely numbers). these logicians suggest. Another form of the second argument takes the form of an 'appeal to ordinary language'. to Oscar at time t. be to provide us with a terminology which is conceptually less confusing and more revealing of the nature of reality than the terminology we customarily employ. as it may. even if that physical object be an inscription of a sentence.e. he The effect of this d. say. to The natural response for a nominalist to maEe here would. may be. This reply. since the linguistic forms it wants to get rid of are philosophically harmless. unlike the sentences (inscriptions) themselves. Thus it iscontended that (8) John made a true statement is perfectly correct 'ordinary language' in certain easily imagined situations. Then nominalism is futile. e mxmally applid t~ 'st~ment. are not physical objects. Q is a& valid-in-Li. However. If S is valid. since (8) is true and (8) implies the existence of non-physical entities. i. then S is valid-in-Liy requires talking about arbitrary expressions of Li (i. but what the sentence says. It is enough that the PKp0m. the direction of (7)) is an intellsin. on his view.). etc. Now there are two possibilities: (a) that (8) implies that statements exist (as non-physical entities). thinks. that 'true7 makes no sense when applied to a physical object. In case @) there is no problem. no matter what language L. t h e is thr:'atgument' that what (7) mans is: there is a dtsrcnscnt which S 'expresses. and that statnncnt is true. we may as well go on talking about 'statements' (and. it is enough if he can provide us with a notion that is philosophically acceptable (to him) and that will do the appropriate work. save as an elliptical formulation of some such fact as (7). it is only a mathematical fact. A d f g to this F n t . I shalI not inquire.). in the sense of conducing to i n d dnrity.e. this claim is extremely debatable. and that the proof of the statement that 'if S is valid-in-&. So. In case (a). Our argument was. but the problem is to make clear what this correct understanding is.

i. has an immensely larger scope than the logic of Aristode. but a mere begging of the quesrion.e. '-' for 'not'. ~ . But . at least ~ ami~ot even do rhb much. or 'first order logic with identity'. Since this ck&-i is precisely what i hue. at is not an argument at all. 'PXYZ' '3.Philosophy o f h g i c entitie e x p r e d by s n t a m ) can be 'true' or 'false'. . i. If he cannot ~rovide such an account (and what n o a i s t hag?). The basic symbols are: for (i) 'Px' for % k is. s (v) '-' 'and'. and t h t he can precisely defme. an account consistently framed w i t h the categories of his metaphysics. and tima that m l y the nominalist owes ua $ 0 m~u n t of what it is. let him be reminded of the following facts: the 'intuitive' notion of truth seems to be inconsiment (cf.ancf.Qx' is short for '(Px 3 Qx) (Qx 3 Px)'. (5) b m e a I k.according to authors. i. fhply entitled to the notion.g. 413 rests.ng the full clas~of & c h t . P . 'x =y' means ' X is identical with (is one and the same entity a ) y'. (iv) '=' ( r d . (2) '(x)' (read: 'for every x') to indiate that every entity x satisties a condition. l by &at mite w* this i ..Rx' m a s 'either x for V en i s p o r x i s notQ.' This is not whoUy .e. Truth (or the triadic relation between i&ptioW in (7)) is hardly a primitive thing like 'yellow'. but given any formalized language L. but to n pmvide a bEW' of dternative notions that he can use in all scientific contexts as one W O wish to use 'We7. and this predicate admits of a prceiif definition using ody the vocabulary of L itself plus set theory. organisms. cannot be satisfactorily explained in purely nominalistic terms. to the 'w' ~ p s p ~ which inscriptions exemplify. (These types arc: sup e = 4to 'x' a m d m d y of whether any Mos e& pa i t my =-lify n G &% theB m~are nan-physical entities. Modern 'quantification theory'. e.. or. && mareownpk(a. there is a predicate 'me-in-L' which one can =ploy for d scientific purposes in place of the intuitive true (when the statements under discussion are couched in L). Px thenandx 3 is short'$and with Qx7 ("If 9 for J r EE (read: ody if') are 3 ( z -ex)'. .ftoWereh. p-~d i s R'. (iii) '(Ex)' (read: 'there is an x such that3)to indicate that some (at h ~ one) t entity x satisfies a condition. it does not follow that the nomidist to bc bad argummts. z stand in the relation P'. Tgus &se ' uW&#ti-' s ~'ocnes-asemrmope'ph~tl\.t d y . n o Z d t e r e d o u r & thar:@)kaafom-n. The r d k ia t h u i a mition not to explain the intuitive notion of truth.Of fm language m y insrribed somewhere) but to 3 entities . we mew ' Z ~ S ~ & ~ ~ I P : R tt M C C C g b 4' d@m. For - -pie. All argumaa that the notion o f m t h is unavailable to the nominalist seem tha h d . his right to use the notion d m become m tr pc . '(Px -Qx) . we. 'V7for 'or7. and the ~nthonzies strong reason to doubt that any notion of truth applicable to all give last^^ a d satisfying thc intuitive requirements could be consistent. (4)' (5)' hdls listed such p m of valid inference as (1) and has aamted the incomistmcy of such forms as (3) since Aristotle's day. as the corresponding branch of madern logic is called.' M b l e inscriptions'. x wm I - k addition the symbols t . and it is intmwhg to review h the way in which it has become connected with the philwphy of logic. 'Pxy' for 'x bears P toy'. this notation we am write down ail the principles that Arbto& staid. roulaideri. at least: today. '(Ex) Px' means 'there is an m t i x which ~ is P ' .lsses T o m y are.~ ~ 0 f * ~ ~ r s ~ t h u s . and similarly.) Whm we my Ld M ~ U & X I @ ~ are -. E l a rnentary logic has enundated such principles as (2).mfaa?po~ T e issue of nominalism versus realism is an old one.e. y. the well-known logical antinomies in connection with it).but it is not unbearable. etc. Our third svgumenr was that re%mncc to all the sentences of a fomdzed hguage (or the mbstitutbn-instan= of a fmed sch-) is not refermce to ' M P (* ~ 'it hardly be SUP@ that sill the infinitely many mtm. but the topic of concern is remgnkably similar.one wodd prefix a single predicate 'true' to an inf'inite couection of p&at@ 'truein-L17.ere. to this ss-gmmt wadi d*g &.then') *'e the defjnitions: 'Px (read: 'if. 3 The Nominalism-Realism Imue and Logic 1 l3&0~the reader (or the nominalist) replies too hastily with tu quopuc. 'true-in-L2'. 'is identi& with') for identity. '(x) Px' means 'every entity x is P'.

a t schema nrr 'true': m e are obviously maninglcss. Quine has urged that q w * ation thmry does not really assert. (st). ?''h a aoe' is a p r e q ' is r predicate. namely the class of aows.In the vmnd p h . In the fmt p k .~ i n m . t h e n a l l S m P : d ~~ is not a truth of logic. and what the is telling you is that all substitution-instances of (5) or (5') are truths of logic. but a rmth of m t k t i c s . 'x is black' and 'x absorbs light' ue slch 4h @ j the ming in a certain class.1in dw.~ ~ ~ I . as such. I do not much care just where one draws the line be^^ b w t i ~ but this particular proposal of Quhe's seems to me ~ . a n c o f ( 1 0 ) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ robs d r =-~ & s u e r r o r = . which +. formulation (A) of the p r d % section. the following is a 'truth of logic': .utterly inadequate lar the analysis of deductive reasoning in its more complicated forms. dfhcr y.orpmdq~bothhlsdri statement at 4 and n e i k sww ~n ofthe muat d. M.414 Mathematical Objects Philosophy o Logic f 415 tremendously important as it was for later developments . it is just S U C ~ thus a disapeanent between w e y d myself. but it is h wbt t .he does not thereby mean to assert (A). I V to use my knowledge of the logical principle (A).drenrYir i s t n w . In his many logical and philosophical writings. Emgi 'howledge' involves a certain idealization: namdy. m view. For exmnple: * i m c of these predicates (especially black) are i W e f n d (neither m e nor b m hL. P i f a l l ~ a r e ~ a n ldM are P. h$cka@is~~@~drefm&). On this view. 4P are mere 'dummy letters' standing for any predicate you likt. ignoring the fa3 @E ~ I * (9) If all aows are black and all black things absorb light. then.However. oftbeuniv-&Pby d9rtp e~ements with th& . . But the gene& principle (A): For all c l a w s . (re~pdvely) w th of black things.fmm the beginning it hm been the a n a m of l a g i c h ~ & to @ ~ c W d prindplm w (A) and not to 'sort out7such truths h (9) of~ ~ @urhr. @lwmy howled@ C ~ t hnthat the predicates <xis a mow'. (respectively) the class of things which absorb light. l o g i d tradition P@ % . ~ B ~ m e ~ q & 4 r ~ ( a P 1 i1 . to bc S m . (12) The statement that all boojums snark is either true or false. for present purposes. Fm&ki a-mtof&eform 'ifpmdi(. say. is not logical knowlsdg+ w h a t ~ e Lind I r ledge it may be. T h a e m y be Borne &oiw bere. NOW. in (5) or S. On Quine's view. even if we are willing to make this iddintion.all I &kt on.'x is a crow' is a predicate which is m e (apnrt from pwiblc of each thing in a certain class and fd% of w h thh$ in the q h m t of that class is knowing a p o d bit about both language and the world. Rather. while m r d i n g to me 9) ta w e regards ht t reflects a mmplicated mixtxm of logid and e m e l d d knowand n& But it is not impo-t that &e reader should agree with me mch . C that the decision or (A) 'principles of logic7 is not ill-motivated. MY WON: principally two. does not tell us that (9) is true: to know that (9) is y (st).Pfi&dy qiluik mtud choice makes m t a m t s m e (A). 1 Idon ' d s u b B t i ~ t i o n . on @e3s view.e~. for example. logic. then absorb light. L~ths of lope'. fa. 'x is beautiflll' is P E W iUand ' is a snark7is meaningless. schemata so far consid ex is^ an jndivid~l x ofdiscmme' we can say. when a logician builds a system one of whose t h m is.

but. e.and this is a second order assertion. as many more complicated physical laws unfortunately an: not. in so far as he is making assertions at all in writing down such schemata as (St). .g. And no materialist should boggle at the idea that matter obeys some objective laws. and whose predicate letters Btartd for Ddjectiva~ v& applied to individwd things (such as 'hard'. the point of the example is t a Newton's law has a content which.416 Mathematical Objects f Philosophy o Logic which contains such theorems as (5'). but they must not presuppose the existence of such entities as classes or numbers. the predicate 'is an electron' is perfectly admissible. These adjectives and verbs need not correspond to observable properties and relations. And assuming that Newton's law is strictly true is something we do only to have a definite example of a physical law before us . Even if the world were simples than it is. and that means he is implicitly making second order assertions: for to assert the validity of the first order schema (5') is just to assert (S)(M) (P)(schema 5') . or so it seems to me: otherwise their scruples are unintelligible. In truth. it is easy to see why and how the traditional nominalism-realism problem came to concern intensely phiI&phers of logic: for. as w e h v e just seen. In sum. and.uzslate' such statements as Newtm's law into nomkktk how cm we be s r that no way exists? ue . mathematics is part of logic. is the rnass of a. the logician is concerned to make assertions of the form 'suchand-such is valid'. this decision amounts to saying that there is no line 'between' mathematics and logic. that is.) Newton's law. the natural understanding of first order logic is that in writing down first order schemata we are implicitly asserting their validity. The simple fact is that the great majority of logicians would understand the intention to be this: the theorems of the system are intended to be valid formulas. the logician is rnalsing assertions of validity. Implicitly. ht although in one sense is p e r f d y clear (it says that gravitational 'pully is directly pwportionai to the maam and obeys an i n v m m law). just consider the best-known example of a physical law: Newton's law of gravitation. and (b) even if we do say this. w n e though we h o w today that it is only an approximation to a much more complicated law. indeed. we dull m trouble o d v e s much with this matter. If one wishes an 'in-between' view. and not merely to build bridges or predict experiences. Frege. it is extremely difficult to draw a nond i a ~ l r y between logic and mathematics. if we are right. he may just be constructing an uninterpreted formal system. this has the awkward consequence that the notions of validity and implicstion2turn out to belong to mathematics and not to logic. as everyone knows. quite transcads what can be expressed in nominalistic language. require us to give up virtually all of mathematics. In view of this. Now then. and that a purpose of science is to try to state them. I shall also pretend the law given above is correct. but then he is certainly not doing logic. it is not jusr 'mathematics' but physics as well that we would have to give up. involves reference to classes. what does he mean to be assertifig?He may. Both of these assumptions should be acceptable to a nominalist. and where g is a universal constant. . I believe that (a) it is rather arbitrary to say that 'second order' logic is not 'logic'. we shall not trouble to distinguish the two mbjects- 5 The Inadequacy of Nominalistic Language & a ' n u m h b i c h g w g e Yis meant a forrndimd language whose variables nnge over hdi6dw.sets of individuals) as logic. that is. that is. of course. It has been repeatedly pointed out that such a language is inadequate for the purposes of sciences. even quantification theory. and also Russell and Whitehead. and Newton's l w held d y y a still it would be impossible to 'do7 physics in r m m h h t k language.one which has a mathemaBhvrrure (which is why it cannot be expressed in nominalistic language). I s a lassume that hl one of our important purposes in doing physics is to try to state 'true or very nearly true' (the phrase is Newton's) laws. (That this law is not strictly true is irrelevant to the present discussion. the restrictions of nominalism are as devastating for empirical science as they are for formal science. 'biggerytim. the natural understanding of logic is such that all logic. and o m which is intelligible to moat people. not mean to be asserting anything. in soax suitable sense. Mb is the rnass of by and d is the distance which separates a and 6. I shall assume here a 'realistic' philosophy of physics. However. Buthoweanwebesurethatthisisso?Evenifw>n~isth~~p4Tefa way to 'tr. perhaps we should take the one between m n d and third order logic to be the 'line7 in question. The philosophical questions we are discussing in this chapter affect the philosophy of mathematics as much as tbe philasophy of W c . for example. that to accept such a language as the only language we are philosophically entitled to employ would. making second order assertions. counted not only second order logic but even higher order logic (sets of sets of sets of. and its magnitude P is given by: 4 Logic Versus Mathematics In view of the foregoing reflections. Thus even fmt order logic would normally be understood as a 'metatheory'. To see this. Some feel that this line should be line identified with the lime between first order logic and second order logic. assertions of the kind (A). to just the sort of entity that the nominalist wishes to banish. M. so that gravitation were the only force. the far more complicated law that is actually m e undoubtedly requires even more mathematics for its formulation. Nominalists must at heart be materialists. The direction of the force fd is towards a. asserts that there is a force fd exerted by any body a on my other body b. if not explicitly.l things. 'part of'). that is.

is N. v. let us for the moment just take them as primitive entities. if we are to use the law.u) = f (w. there are fintely many statements Sl. s (4) If W.418 Mathematical Objects Philosophy of Logic 419 Well. md which is expressed in word language by saying that the intervd Zjj is congruent to the intend W . unless we are willing to postulate the existence of an aaual infinity of physical objects.B v. .not. z a * of logic if we a c q t the =lation sfhmre. and moreover (for the appropriate i S G Si follows logically from the statement 'the ) number of individuals is N ' . (It is not 2 nmsary. V. but we need to be able to express arbitrarily good rational estimates of physical magnitudes. if one has pint-particles in one's physics). as follows: 'The distance from r to y is r5 is defined to mean that f (r. 1 prefer to think of them as properties of certain events (or of particles. w h m f is my function satisfying the following five conditions: P ~ w. then the &tame h m n to b is n one un. (1) f (w. d ) if and only if C(w. of pak'wisc non-equivdent statements. then it is clear that we must have an i n w c @ $ % !. u are colinear points and v is b-gn w and U.. for clearer if we look at the matter less fkmdsmetres' is an m e l y complex me.u). . say. w) which we may d l the relation of conguma. a language rich enough to sate not just the law itself. not further identified than by the name 'point'. We require. v ) is defmed (and has a nonnegative real v*) on (2) f (w.&d) holds 6. In other words. and let us consider not only the law of gravitation itself but also the obvious presuppositions of the law. etc. to have a name for each real number.e. or taken is h'thm plimitiv~ r w n f physical geometry. there is a relation C ( ~ . then f (w.id~ fmm thnt p m i w that my two of the above statements have the hurh vdue.id relations: for any N. . as red entities but as things that can somehow be measured by real numbers. perhaps.io~ Iop. We shall take the distance from a1 to a2 to be one. v ) +f (v. ) = 0 if and only if r is the same point as V. It be shown that t&e is a unique functionf ~tisfying d i t i a ( 1 ~ 5 ) : m I 'F If the number of iadividunb. v u 0) f(w.? . hold that all so-called operational definitiom ~e d u s i y i m m a t c . 'the distance from u to a one tWO metres f one entimetre'. but fuls of the form 'the force fd is rl i r2'.) k t t&? two ~ a i n (say. is a physical magnitude aa $isam % o m e b W h e - m is the following: it is dePt ) of such mtiries as 'ptiLJ pR=@ . let us consider what is involved.or S E S. (Here 'mlinear' and 'be~m' either be defined in terms of the c-relation i known ways. (Nor d m the non-equivdma ~mi8hgiven the pmnise 'the number of individu& is N'. then there are only f~tely many painvise non-equivalent statements in the formalized n o * innwage. however. y. On any view.. distances and masses . and we can express the statemats of fiom a to 6 is one metre i centimetr$. there will be two diff-t i n e m n.) (5) f(a1. either S s Sl or S E S2or. because there is a serious disagreement between those philosophem who think that this relation can be operationally defined and tho% who. z. The law pw supposes.az) = 1. like myself. . v ) =f (w'. no such 'translation scheme' can exist.) Thm my 'trmalntion' of 'the innofphysia' into ' n o d e "UBt disrupt lop. in the first place.s* such that for an arbitrary statement S.(I MY 'on any view'. ~ if we have names for two different individuals in But Our ' ~ P P physics'. it does not foJ. 3 2 . i d that the relation must be taken as primitive in physical theory. where r1. y) = r. the existence of forces. by definition. Y . a and b. . which is a physically significant relation among poino.) But no nominalist has ever proposed a device whereby one might translate arbitrary statemats of the form 'the distance d is rl fr2' into a nomiadistic language. Moreover. Then we may defme 'distance' as a numerid mmure d&cd for My two points x. if and only if the intervd 5% i congruent to the interval dd). z the dimma?from a to b is m metres f one cm.. Thm le b a d e q ~ t e physim. the end points of the standard metre in P r s at a p l d c u k insmt) r~ ai and call them a1 and az. by the follow&$ simple argument: if there are only fintely many individuals. ns such t h t the false " w x ~ ' : spatial point does not intuitively depend on any particular coordinate systen. 'the mass & L rl ia: 'the distance d is rl l r2'. or indeed possible. r are arbitrary rationals.

Perhaps the most natural.Since function has just been defined in b' terms of refitioa ( a d the notion "=' which we count as part of ele~nenta. But then. 6)) . Instead of saying.1. T o give up either the idea that x E y is a well-defined reladon rhe idea that sets are entities we can qmtify over would be to give up @ h o y e ~ altogether. y > is defined to be {{x. it follows that 'relation7 can be defined in terms of the one primitive d o n set. a Also the dt r .. as we did in the previous section. one of our assumptions was false.which is all that is required of any d&nition of ordered pair. way is t i :pick two objects hs a and b to serve as 'markers7. a tweplaoc relation is simply a set of ordered pairs. it follows that there is a set of all those sets x such that x does not belong to x.. Philosophy o Logic f 421 real numbers may be identified with series of rational numbers. One way out of the difEiculty is the d e d theory of types.c m all be d M fixan the notion of s t R a t h d numbers tm: e.Mathmtical Objects variable r l . b. etc. therefore. m.Iwirh (a).ininri~~ys. then. and € X. though not the customary.u~~.. It is easy for one and the same person to express nominalistic convictions in one context. then 2 with (4 I). even involves functions from points to reals.tobeor~~tmbeam~~ofi~s& w ~ a s e t l r e l m g t o a n yw o f t h e m ~ t y p e . then what at dl does the law of gravitation assert? For that law makes no sense at all unlcss we a n explain variables ranging over arbitrary distances (and also forces and masses. if nnd only if x = u and y = v. Thus d of the 'objects' of pure mathematics may be built up starting with the one l notion set. b u t n @ w h & i r : @ i W ( ~ ~ t o a n y & e t w h i c h i f . Let us adopt the notation < x.this is inconsistent. (2) If 4 is any well-defined condition. we could simply have said that physics requires some such notion as set. Thus. b)}. -a y 'rr1.which is highly counter-intuitive.ry logic). v: .e. d f f o r h ~ t b & f l ~ - w e w a n t t o a Ythaathexle i s . itf&ws&at~has~d~intermsofsct. Prr nwthernadm.3 . b.But the only a l t d w e is then to give up (or a least t G). The most famous difficulty with the notion of a set is this: suppose we assume (1). ~ o f ~ m ~ ~ ) .6 6 Predicative versus Impredicative Conceptions of 'Set' The set ( x . one needs some such notion as function or set. Cy. and 'unordered ptzirs' arc simply sets. y l thx rhe r&hn R is d d a ' . and these are just the notions the nominalist rejects... If the nunericalization of physical magnitudes is to makc sense. Yet if nothing really answers to them.viously. Yet. this is the preferred style in contemporary mathematics. a). 'the'. as we have just m. i. then it would seem that x E x. But if x E y is a welldefined relation.Then iden* the ordered pair of x and y with the set {{x. ifsc a* N~ * a t b . for example. then there is a set of all the entities which satisfy the condition 4.m n b e d e f i n e d i n t a n ~ ~ dscr. Then it is d y sem that for any x.e.y w l & h ~ . < x. y ) with just the two elements x. a s l n m e ~ ~ m U.one~identifyOwith~e~ptysa. we must accept such notions as function and real number. y is called the unordered pair of x and y. And the natural way. as we have just seen. If R is a relation such that for al u. Then (assuming also that the condition 'NX E x7is well-defined). # this rheory.21$031 we wlibe: . a) and the unordered pair y. u. things we can quantify over). y. t then: (3) (x) ( x E y = EX). to speak of distance as something defined (and having a numerical value) in the case of abritrary points x.F~l. setsofindividuals as typeme.2).1. S i n e 'ordered pair' has just been defmed in terms of 'wnordered pair'. I t i s w & k w w n t f i a t . and this is a self-contradiction! Olt. On this -9 k E y' is well-defined only if x and y are of the appropriate types.. U R bemmtrehtionammgin.di~. of course). a). indeed. y > for this ordered pair. In t m of unordered pairs one can define ordered pairs in various ways. rz.Ascet a&thmLtfon'aUr. r I where a 'series' is just a funcltion whose domain is the natural numbers.~p~e. whindividuafs count as theam type. If y is that @ . Sets are entities in their own right (i. and in a different context. tlzen 3 with (0. In the present section we shall make a cursory examination of the notion of a set. would have to be well-defined (in the sense of having a definite truth value) on all sets x.2. two 'ordered pairs' are identical just in case their elements asc the same and 61re also ordered the same .putting y for x. s a s o f ~ e individuals as type two.e. with the unordered pair whose elements are the unordered paix {x. '--x E x' iis not men I ~no~t~anbe&deithea. t h e d n l ~ z n b O . y. for the notions of number and function can be built up in terms of that notion. for arbitrary sets x. that physics essentially requires reference to functions and real numbers. y. Which could it have been? We could say that 'NX E x7is not a well-defined condition.i. D.

n N. that one day I decide that 1 mderstand two notions which are not nominalistic. explainablein terms of the notions offor~~ula truth. But the intention underlying d this is nther interesting. Now. and not just all . let done getD of higher type ofd one . if and only if y is red. ~nterms of quantifying only P N. N.422 Mathemtptlatical Objects I Phihsophy of Logic 423 where 'a is an R-chain' is short for '(x)(x EE a 3 ($)bE a . . 'sets definable in N". suppose I identifi sets with the formulas of my nominalistic language which have just one fns variable x . then. P ~ . Some few mathematicians and philosophers object to tbe idea o f such a set.the set of red thin* I identi@ with the formula 'Red($)'. . prc -plcs 'predi-tive' s e e a h of thee setg preupposes a Zotality' is d&d earliery ( sg with the totaky of individd) and whj& d a s not P ~ (One i n a o d pRdiative sets of higher typ. if a is the formula 'Red(x)'.but that is only to sp& of d l s m of individuals defionbk If new p*tives s d d d to N.etc.Rxy) )'. Nunely. In terms of these notions I can introduce a very weak notion of set. if I wishes.g. Suppose. b c m it still makes no sense to speak ofall ' ea Bets of individuals.8 as the set of all U such that there is an R-chain containing U is 'viciousybaause the 'totality in terms of which 0 is defined7 . N". of m w e . a bc the hgurgc one o b h s fmN by &owing q u a d f ~ Over ofmdivid~ defimbie in N. to be m. as a merefigon de parley. these mathematicians and philosophers say that a set should never be defined in terms of a 'totality' unless that totality is incapable of containing that set. if one ever speaks of aU sets of individd r W~Jdefined totality. a ' w ~ notion of t .is a perfectly good set according to the theory of types. Suppose I do not understand the notion of a 'set' at d. f i e notion of 'membership' I explain ss follows: if is an individual and a is a 'st' 6. etc. N'. if and only if 'Red(x)' is true of y i. out to be the 'set of 4 r& 1 . in the %me just expi&&. whose nomidistic status is debatable: the notions of 'fornula' and 'truth'..the ones definable in N.one an fOm&. They argue that to define a set . in general.e.) The point that wnarrns ILs om is this: this of-. or any st defined in terms of that set. This is. Mf the lmguagc rvc obtain bydo* qmrifiati611 & Sets ofindiyidudIS dcfiruble in w.a~ it should be.could contain P itself.sets definable in some one h ~ g i ctb. in ~~ t of form* fOmulas.d U such that some R-chain contains U . one am frmn the above P * lkr l b. 7 HOW Much Set Theory is Really Iodispen~abl~ for Science? * anyway. now. prediotive notion of. but thi.e. at any rate.of 'sets definable in N'.8 of d such U .sill not be done heE. of th-sna of i n d i v i d e .e.e. inNtt.then one is said to have an impredicative notion of m. So 'Red($)' I4 &*' . indeed. . rather vague.. and.. .is one which cm be w u U to any givm level in rhe dcs NO.the totality of d l Rshains a . in pried. a formula with one fiee varlble 'xy). . however. will However. pf . and if f ~ ~ ~ l the sense of fornula (in a s my actual inscriptions or not) are 'absarct entities'.. we have: sets definable earlier in the series. suppose I employ only some nominalistic language N. the todity of set. or. the set . Y E a if and only if a is true of y i. ' In contrast to the foregoing. ad still they are relatively clear ones. Thus. then Ly E is to mean that a is true of YY where a formula $(x) is true of an individual y just in w e the formula is m e when is interpreted a name of y. . and this whole way of speaking . inK .can itself be regarded. and also according to most mathematicians.

.

Exactly how is the notion of truth. thad bas M.The form of the argument is a straightforward circle: a principle P (that there is something wrong with locutions which occur only in philosophical discourse) is advanced.e. Austin's book Sense and Sensibilia. even if correct.I i I 426 Mathematical Objects i I linguistically deviant. in John L. pmiily kmw that they are more thiun 'useful fictions' (and w we may as well say that that . thus conventionalism. set. To put it another way.' are - .e. as something intelligible apart from the notion of a convention. then we can deductively close it by introducing (2) into the language. 'Do material objects exist?') p e se. What I claim is that there is nothing linguistidy 'queer7 about general existence questions ( D numbers 'o exist?'. t n ei a ed to show that entities corresponding to &om mmxpts d y & It d y dwws that those "entities~~ usefirlfictwn~. however. but it turns out that these supporting examples are supporting examples only if the principle P is assumed. apart from a philosophical principle which appears completely misguided. presupposes quantification over abstract entities. many philosophical statements and arguments have contained (and in some cases. many supporting examples are given for the principle P (is. or that we can not. nor about general questions of justifica~ tion or entitlement ('What entitles us to believe that material objects exist?'). Then. it would be startling and important if we could honestly show that locutions which are peculiar to philosophical discourse have something linguistically wrong with them. . This 'fictionalistic' philosophy seems presently to tohave disapr) peared. etc.an explanation which is trivially correct (apart from the important question of just how large the conventional element in mathematics really is). Moreover.in particular. is what they a e . for example. that these sentences violate any norms of natural language that can be ascertained to be norms of natural language by appropriate scientific procedures. we could aSways bring it into the language by simply introducing it as a new speech-form. We have now rejected the view that 'numbers exist7. Whst t i amounts to is this. there is an easy way to bypw this question completely. 'numbers exist with the property of being prime and p t e r than L &y non-deviant and true. with the accompanying stipulation that 'numbem existyis to be true if and only if there is a condition '-' such that 'numbers exist with the propsty -' is true. immediately conventional . in particular. 'numbers &') is not in the language. to be defmed in terms of the notion of convention? Even assuming that some mathematical sentences are 'true by convention7. this can be done essentially just one way. (Yet these latter questions are rejected. This 'conventionalist' position founders.. and that these could be listed. do not possess a truth value. which require proof. still. as applied to sentences which quantify over abstract entities. then considerations of dispensability or indispensability are iwelevant. but it is newwry to consider it here for a moment.x> 10'') (i. as we have seen. etc. A third reason that philosophers might once have given for rejecting idispens abity arguments is the following: around the turn of the century a number of philosophers claimed that various entities presupposed by scientific and common sense d e o r e even. oertgini concepts m r lo b j j number. in the caw of some of these philosophers. For the fictionalist says. 'queer'. historically.) So far I have argued that there is no reason to classify such assertions as 'nunabers exist' and 'sets exist' as linguistically deviant. 'sets exist'. essentially depended upon) locutions which are 'queer' by any standard. then ordinary language i nat s 'deductively dd': for (2) is deducible from (1) in m d a r d logic (by the themm '(%)(Fx . with Giide17stheorem. So we may as well count (2) as part of the language to begin with. in su 'YB. on any view. However. i. while s (2) (3x) (x i a number) (i-e. as soon as the conventionalist is asked to become specific about details. discussion of this topic would lead us tao far afield. if the conventionalist is not careful. if the mtmce hs I Philosophy o Logic f 427 II I I (I) (3)(xisanumber.e. the sentence so symbolized)is in the language. For example.Hx) c (3x)FxY). his theory of mathematical truth may easily end up by being in conflict with results of mathematics itself .are indisqxndiq but m. But if ordinary language is not deductively closed in this respect. moreover. etc.). if only became it repments the most direct possible rejection of the probative f m of indispensability arguments. and I am s m many philosophers would similarly reject the former questions.i. I do not deny that. and. for now I shall simply dismiss conventionalism on the ground that no one has been able to state the alleged view in a form which is at all precise and which does not immediately collapse. either. If. 'numbers exist' and 'sets exist' are true by convention.xisprime. at any rate. mathematical truth ends up being explained as truth by virtue of immediate convention and mathematics . and by just the circular reasoning just described. A second reason that certain philosophers might advance for r e j d n g indispensability arguments is the following: these philosophers claim that the truths of logic and mathematics are true by convention. the conventionalist still requires some notion of implication in order to handle those truths of mathematics which are not.Gx . Moreover. etc. if it should indeed be the case that 'numbers exist' simpliciter is not in the language.were merely 'useful fictions'. of philosophical statements and questions which are allegedly 'odd'. are linguistically deviant. Even if some philosophers would reject the sentence 'numbers exist' as somehow not in the normal language. mamid objects icus tkmdves . But the notion of implication (validity of the conditional) is one which requires set theory to define. but it is uninteresting to claim that this is so if the 'evidence' for the claim is merely that certain particular locutions which peculiar to philosophy must have something wrong with them because they are peculiar to philosophy and became locutions which occur only in philosophical discourse are 'odd7. in the sense of being immediately true by convention. 'numbers exht with the plapmty -' is admitted to be non-deviant (and even true) for many values of '-'.

then we should not give up HI merely because m e o n e confronts us with a logicalpossibiliry of its being false. ks. Another argument was a species of openquestion argument: 'What more does it mean to say that material objects exist. Another play w s to my: a 'Pstudo-hypotheses. at some point hyaothescra must be rejected on a priolr' grounds if any hypothesis is ever to be accepted at all. I repm the stand I I v e taken (and. containing bath 'sense-datum' sentences and 'thing sentenm' (assuming. so that if we ever declare that a hypothesis has been '~nfirmed'. and today it seems almost certainly the case that no such reduction can be carried out. for you will never be able to offer any reason to say that it is false'.i. one could say what 'sense-datum' sentences are logically implied by T. like the one about the demon.amtext. the sceptic will object. have only pictwe mizniag'. and whether a disaturse colltaining it is ling&AcaflB @or d d t . One can d y say wh&m the demon hyporhesis is 'crazy' or not if one has taka such a 8tand. or some other basis.If. than that under suchandauch conditions we tend to have such-and-such experiences?' But the openquation argument presupposes the success of phenomenalistic reduction. it is subject to lingujstic we can M w 3 e other statements from it and a h say what other sizkmmts inrpfy it. The fictionalists regarded the following as a logical possibility: that there might not in fact be electrons (or whatever). or at the present). r p to woke m e 'pictures in the head'. or totally irrational to believe that. but bemuse it all the remaining hypotheses are rejected as too implausible even though they agree with and even predict the evidence . For rationality requires that when two hypotheses HI. or on the basis of the kinds of predicates they contain. T o refuse to make any a dGciSiOnS as to which hypotheses are more or less plausible is just to commit oneself to never making any inductive extrapolation from past experience at & for at any given . then you will be doomed to utter scepticism. Mise tlm h . but that our experiences might be as ifthere were actually electrons (or whatever). we mngr mt kmw much more about the matter dtrvl that today.imd. but all attempts to mrry out the programme of actually supplying a reduction of material object language to 'sense-datum' language have failed utterly. it cannot be ratio& to believe it f&wing maxim of rationality: h not Meve H if all i for by HI are accounted for also by Hz. and HI is a prrprrorj much morc plausible than Hz. or silly. was the one which ran as follows: 'If you do admit the demon hypothesis as a logical possibility. forthis is justwhat meaningis: beingmeaningfui is being m&xt m trgkinds of recursive ~ o r m a t i o n s and t txmin . but it is appropriate to say in passing that all of the verificationist arguments were bad arguments. Besides repxsenhg an objectionable form of argument (namely. we are dl disembodied spirits under the thought control of some powerful intelligence w h w chief purpose is to deceive us into thinking that there is a material world. According to the verificationism popular since the late 19206. or of the form of the laws they propose. that verificationism and verificationism alone can save us all from the bogey of scepticismhere is one: if the demon hypotheses is so constructed as to lead to exactly the same testable consequences as the more plausible system of hypo&m chat we actually believe (or to the same testable consequences as any system of hypotheses that rational men would find more plausible). and all hypotheses aprimimore plausible than HI have led to a a false prediction. I d 4 : the stand d rational men take. (This is roughly Newton's 'rule 4' in Principia. it may be asked. The v e r i f a t i m k ~ d d retort: 'It doesn't follow it has ma* w *-But they w&d j l l s t b e m g . In sunq we 4. Again. this is meaaitlgh: if p is a proposition which it would be logically impossible to verify. In case anyone needs to hear a reply to this claim.H2 I d to the m e testable predictions (either at all times.. Given P large body of theory T. in particular. k t ifit . but it is not logically impossible. or crazy. speaking as one who has taken this st. for the sake of charity.e.g. Hi hs been accepted.a d Hzi marc p*bk s dun Hr). then HI should be given the preference over H2. This is not an essay on verificationism. The worst argument of all. e. but this does not mean that the thingentenas in T(much less in 'the language' considered apart from any particular theory) must be individually equivalent to sense-datum sentences in any reasonable sense of 'quivalent'. 'How do you know the demon hypothesis is less plausible than the normal hypothesis?' But the answer is that to accept a plwglb'ility ordering is neither to make a judgement of empirical fact nor to state a themem of deductive logic. you must not ask thk but rhetorical q u d o n unless you have constructed S'. but we know m u & to h o w that what the vcrificntionists w m propounding wag Philosophy of Logic not an analysis of meaning but a persuasive redefinition. then it is well and gsod to ask 'What more does S mean than S?'. that a '&turn7 language could d y be constructed). to contend that 'material objects exist' means something to the effect that under certain circumstances we tend to have certain experiences. But on this issue the fictionalists were surely right and the verificationists wrong: it may be absurd. this appears to have been in part for bad reasons. however. it is a grammatid sentence is oae we can offer free translations of.) But. of course.131e out' the demon hypothesis without playing fast and hose with the m t h of impossibility or with the notion of meanin hve taken a stand according to the nwmal hypothesis. to be sure. it is to take a methodological s t d . we am say whether it is linguistically appropriate or inap p m p h in a 8. is not because all other hypotheses have been ruled out. time infinitely many mutually incompatible hypotheses are each compatible with any finite amount of data. If you have a translation 9 of a thing sentence S into phenomenalistic language. then p does not represent so much as a logical possibility. then it is not logically false. The chief argument was. implicitly or explicitly). but it is logically impossible that it should ever be rational to believe it.Mathematical Objects If fictionalism has been rejected by present-day philosophers of science and epistemologists. assuming the point at isme and explaining your opponents' propensity to error ) this eontention is just f l e The 'demon hypothesis' is not just a . 'Is there really such a thing as a prdori plausibility?' The answer is that it is easily shown that all possible inductive logics depend implicitly or explicitly on this: an a priori ordering of hypotheses on the basis of 'simplicity'. o kinds of &is te. and th (because of the way the demm (hypo&esis) is true.

At bottom the d y relevant differeace between the fobwing two statements: I I (3) The iiim of science is successful prediction and (4) An aim of some scientists is to know whether o not it i trut drat mesolls r s behave in such-and-such a way . which Mill correctly regarded as the most powerful method of the inductive sciences) at another point. as 'useful fictions' do h not make it rational to believe the material object 'conceptual system'. It is hard to believe that there is such a thing as 'the aim of science' . it is correct to remind the fictionalist that we cannot separate the grounds which make it rational to accept a proposition p from the grounds which make it rational to accept p is W . what could make it rational to believe anything? Historidy.430 Mathatical Objects is a logical truth (relative to the above maxim of rationality) that it would always be irrational to believe the demon hypothesis. A sceptical ktionalist Eke Hans Vaihinger maintained.and it is the good feature of the instrumentalist strategy to press this devastating question home to the fictionalist . But then . but not totally (as leading to true belief about things).g. I am deeply disturbed by one point. But these are just the factors on which rational acceptance depends. Why can we never know that scientific theories are true? Because. although they refused to believe that science leads to tnre theories. discovering certain facts: about radio stars. we need not feel compelled to go further and try to show that it does not represent even a logical possibility. if we can justify rejecting it. fictionaks split into two camps in the face of this sort of question.g. or what have you. Now. They want rmccessful predictions in order to confirm their theories. and by no means the most important one. we have only to recognize that the inmwnentalist is using the word simplicity to stand for a complicated matter depending on many factors. because simplicity in any measurable sense (e. and thereby rejected induction (or the hypothetideductive method. for Vaihinger and his followers in the philosophy of 'As-If' did not doubt that science will lead to (approximately) correct prediction. Iength of the expressions involved. there is something especially pathetic about the sceptical version of fictionalism. Elementary as the point may be. or number of argument places of the predicates involved) is only one of the factors affecting the judgements of relative pltausibility that scientis~ and rational men actually make. for example. it is just not the scientists value as an end in i .what f i r t h reasons could one want before one regarded it as rational to Believe a theory? If the very things that makes t e fictionalist. since it is rational to acceptp is twe just in case it is rational to acceptp. even assuming all possible observational knowledge. the fictionalist said. One encounters.id fictionalist litre D u b maintained that Thomistic metaphysics (and metaphysics alone) could establish propositions about reality as true. he chose to accept induction partially (as leading to successful prediction of experience). science could only show that p~)pc&bns are useful for prediction and systematizatian of data. Another fashionable way of rejecting fictionalism has its roots in instrumentalism rather than in verificationism. whatever that is). or else that they be abandoned. or mesons. then that is enough. But this is just vdcationism again. there is unquestionably some insight in this retort to fictionalism. Moreover. But neither can we give a deductive proof that the sun will rise tomorrow! The fictionalist was thus a half-hearted sceptic. or number of logical connectives. the premise that the purpose of science is prediction of experience (or that plus 'simplicity'. and rational to call the propositions that make it up 'true' (or 'as true as anything is7. so it is rational to accept our conceptual system. since we always reserve the right to change our minds).numy scientists only care about simplicity w ~ U ~ and C B when it is evidence of truth.there are many aims of many scientists. we can give no deductive proof that they are true. e. in Anthony Quinton's happy phrase. A h . somewhat the following line of reasoning: to ask whether statements are 'true' cannot be separated from asking whether it is rational to accept those statements (so far. they do not want theories in order to obtain the predictions. The fictionalist concedes that predicative power and 'simplicity' (i. notwithstanding some misleading connotations the word may have. for example. and scepticism only reduces to a futile and silly demand that a deductive (or some kind of a priori) justification be given for the basic standards of inductive inquiry.e. and it is just not the case that all scientists are primarily interested in prediction. But the end purpose of our whole 'conceptual system' is just the prediction and control of experience (or that plus 'simplicity'. The fictionalist concedes that the conceptual system of material objects (or whatever) leads to successful prediction (or as successful as we have been able to manage to date) and that it is as simple as we have been able to manage to date. But neither move is satisfactory. I myself dislike talk of simplicity. which are in some cases of not the slightest interest in themselves. except that now 'the unit of meaning is the whole conceptual system'. Inquirers not precommitted to the Catholic Church do not agree that Thornistic metaphysics is a superior road to truth than modem science. so good). A theo1og. and that they make it rational to accept a theory. While I agree so far with the instrumentalist strategy of argument. where simplicity is some kind of a funny aimin-itself and not a rubric for a large number of factors affecting our judgement of probable lruth). on the other hand. at least 'for scientific purposes'. but of interest only because they tend to establish the truth or falsity that simplicity is a thing that all of some theory. and thereby they did accept induction at one point (notwithstanding the lack of a deductive justification). Some scientists are primarily interested in. as scientists and rational men a c t d y judge these matters) are the hallmarks of a good theory. etc. we can only I Philosophy o Logic f 431 I I 1 know that they are useful fictions. or genes. then fictionalism immediately collapses. that nothing could establi$h that. overall plausibility in comparison with rival hypotheses.regard material objects. But this is not a crucial point. m a t d objects really exist. This premise makes it easy to refute the fictionalist: for if there is no difference between believing p and believing that p leads to successful prediction (at least when p is a whole conceptual system).

is that (3) is couched in oba-vation language. at kas. or even the aims of all scientists be statable in observation language any more than the content of science is expressible in observation language? Surely this is just a hangover f h m reductionism! In sum.. then any sentence built up out of the given n atomic sentences by means of truth fmctional connectives will be logically equivalent to one of these sentences Ti. but I hope I have not left the impression that the part discussed in this chapter is all there is.Sz. not for the usual verificationist or inrmmentdlist reagons.b)(a# b . I have coismj thEo . (fm&e m i ) i itstlf s implied liy the statement that the number of individds is two. The same idea woks for any finite n u m b of individuaI5. is an especially fascinating one. as we have also sften. I might bave identified sets with d hcrians.as an approximation to the truth which can probably be bettered.SF.. and thereby d i m i d just the point . the notion of set is isthe & & notion which a n be Mien as &E. First published in Great Britain by Allen & Unwh in 1972.. 2 A is said to imply 3. and (2) the sentence S r S . There are only finitely many atomic sentences (assuming the number of primitive predicates in the language is finite). Such a and judgment could only be made if one accepted a a-afls-scientificmethod as superior to the scientificmethod. # b . and because (Vaihinger to the contrary) the absence of a deductive justification for the scientific method in no way shows that it is not rational to accept it.. n u m b can be mao s t r u d from s in more than me way.. 3 Here is a sketch of the proof of this assertion: suppose for example. i. In short. I believe that this tendency is wrong.432 Mathematical Objects Philosophy of Logic beside the incredible pomposity of (3) ('the aim of science' indeed!). and we have mjccted this rejoinder..b)(a#be Z . However. Sz= '(h. but because it is silly to a p thPt a rmson for believing that p warrants accepting$ in all scientific cimmt~oe$ thon to d d 'but even m it is not goo& enough'. The question of to what extent we might revise our basic logical principles. My own view is that none of dxse approaches should be rqprdai as 'more true' than any other.b)(a # 6. One group of questions which I might have considered has to do with the existence of what I might call 'equivalent onsbutions' in mathematics. then it is w i l y seen that S E (h. at least in the sense in which one ever 'believes' a scientific theory . Ifthe number of these: atomic sentences is n.T. Moreover. But why should the aim of science. the & of m&mtidfkct admits of nuny 'aquivrzfent c b c r i p h ' : but dearly a wh& essay could have been devoted to this.then (I) if the number of b)(a individuds is m.but this philosopher. this property of continuity an b cqmsd w k h ~ t e ~thstwe~yhaveam&avaihbkmtbe~tg. At this point we have considered the rejoinder to indispensabilityarguments. T e rejoinder is simply that the very factors that make it am h rational to accept a thmry 'for scientific purposes' also make it rational to believe it.IbaveacFtthisout in the. ) ) ) implies S E (3a. Thus every sentence S of the language is transformed into a sentence S without quantif~ers. Pb and each sentence (3x)Px as a disjunction Pa V Pb. Even if the conventionalist view has never been made very plausible (or even clear). . as we have had to revise some of our basic geometrical principles in mathematical physics. i n d of idesl%ifyhg functions with czrtain SCB.One can easily construct 22"quantifier-free sentences which correspond to these 2r truth functions. 52-84. I have c h m to go into detail on one group of questions . ' i Again. then every m c S i equivalent in truth-due to ont of the me s sentences Sl. Sellars (eds).at the cost of having to neglect many others.) is true in every two-element universe. there is a rejoinder to fictionaliwn that does not depend on rcductionist views about either the content or the ' i 'of science. Moreover. if there is such a thing. 4 Snictly~~th$isonlytrueifwerequire~fbeacmntitltunrsfuvraionfrom space-points to reals. N = 2 and introduce (temporarily) symbols 'a' and '6' for the two individuals assumed to exist. we discussed very briefly the interesting topic of conventionalism. and hence b)(a 'the number of individuals is two' (tbirs may be symbolized (b. F i t i o d i s m fails because (Duhem to the contrary) it could not exhibit a better method for fixing our belief than the scientific method.that worried the fictionalists. that it might be indispemable to believe p but that p might none the less really be false. the tendency among philosophers is to assume that in no sense does logic itself have an empirical foundation. For a semi-popular exposition see 'The semantic conception of truth' in H.(x)(x=aVx= 8 . in case the conditional (A 3 B) with A as antecedent and 3 as just consequent is valid. is in m inter-translatable with tiilk of formulas and truth. ) Thus. it raises fascinating issues. at leetst. But. 1 This was shown by Tarski. Notes First published by Harper and Row in 1971. if S EZ Ti is a theorem of propwitional calculus. Today. which m to rest on false doctrines.e. TI)'.those having to do with the indiqensab'&ty of quantification over abstract entities such as sets . and not as a final truth. has no interest in doing that. as I did. Tz. - %Ixmmcmmt'. 'implication is validity of the conditional'. but this issue too has had to be avoided rather than discussed in the present section. Readings in PhilosophicalAnalysis (New York).. Rewrite each sentence (x) Px as a conjunction Pa. # b . then the number dtruth functions of them that be can written is Z2".text w l y to simplify the d c sm kwi . .the apparent gap between the two . Feigl and W. 9 Unconsidered Complications In this chapter. T2)'. if we let SI = '(5.. we have already indicated that p n d i d v e s t e theory. fictionalism has on the whole been rejected for a bad reason: because: verificationism has d e the perfectly sound and elementary distinction b t e n ewe truth of scientific theory and truth of its okrvational consequences unpopular.T r . pp. F r example. and e m the impredici~tive v not5011 of set a r i s of various equivalents: fm dnt example.. My purpose has been to give some idea of the many-layered complexity which one encounters in attacking even one part of the philosophy of logic..

belonging ta it. . Frcg.pairs of points and numbers. how they relate to other entities.Also he will wish to ask whether the entity dealt with is sari g d or whether it is in some sense reducible to (or constructible in terms of) other. . or whether that s ~ m ea m i l k f mguesor of G d is a number or not. Intension and Dcnkion) We can. ( w h a t Numbers Could Not ~ e ' ) Paul Benacerraf The attention of the mathematician focuses primarily upon mathematical structure... .e. They did not learn straight off how to ~ t Instead of beginning their mathematid training with a. The philosophical logician.decide by means of our definitions whether any -apt has the number Julius Cacsal. . . perhaps more fundamental entities.He will not be satisfied with being told merely that such and such entities exhibit such and such a mathematical structure.. 6 To 'quantify over' sets means to employ such expressions as 'for every set x' and 'there is a &t x such that'.t!he mathematician is satisfied so long as he has some "entities" or " "objects" (or "sets" or "numbers" or "functions" or ' c ~ or "pointg") to work with. .. He will wish to inquire more deeply into what these entities are. and he does not inquire into their inner c W e r or ontological status. bur we am never.definitions say what is meant by 'the number 1 + 1 belongs to the concept F' and then. give the sense of the expression 'the number 1 + 1 + 1belongs to thc concept F' and so m. rather than vice versa. sons of two militant lagicists .But. The term 'measurement' is a hangover from the days of opaatio&.[our].&ht~~etic . . .. and his intellectual delight arises (in part) from seeing that a given theory exhibits such and such a structure. .children who have not been taught in the vulgar (old-fashioned) way but for whom the pedagogical order of things has been the epistemological order.. Martin. when it was supposed that measurement was prior to definition. from seeing how one structure is "modelled" in another.by using. (G. . using this.. Tke F&tiom ofArithtit) 1 The Education Imagine Ernie and Johnny. or in exhibiting some new structure and showing how it relates to previously studied ones. .. M. on the other hand.. is more sensitive to matters of ontology and will be especially interested in the kind or kinds of entities there are actually. (R.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful