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In The Semantic Tradition, Coffa says the following about neo-Kantianism that was too good to pass up. It comes just after a discussion of Helmholtz’s criticisms of Kant’s views on geometry:

When the Germans began to recover from idealism, the first that occurred to them was to go back to Kant and start over again, trying to get it right this time. ‘Neo-Kantianism’ is the blanket name for a variety of movements that had little more in common than a distrust of the post-Kantians who preceded them and the belief that what Kant meant (but didn’t quite manage to say) was profound and true.

Coffa goes on to say that, in this broad sense, Helmholtz initiated a neo-Kantian movement. Coffa has such a way with words.


I’m reading through Ferreiros’s Labyrinth of Thought. It is so far a decent history of the early development of set theory, beginning with Riemann and Dedekind.

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Here is a post I had written a while ago, but never put up on this blog. It touches on some odd things that Russell says, primarily as they relate to Frege and Benacerraf’s subsequent discussion.  Read the rest of this entry »

A topic that recurs in the interviews with Quine is his views on analyticity and how his views have changed since “Two Dogmas”.

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There are several interviews in Quine in Dialogue that are worth reading. A 1978 interview with Magee has a bit that made me stop.

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I’ve been reading some of Quine in Dialogue. While the interviews are often light, Quine does say some illuminating things about his philosophical views and their development. I’ll post on that later.

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I want to write a brief post on the Search for Mathematical Roots with some concluding thoughts on it. There is a lot in the book I didn’t talk about in my other posts on the book. I haven’t touched on the development of set theory in the book. I also haven’t talked at all about the disputes between the so-called part-whole theorists and set theorists. Before I get to the concluding thoughts, I want to talk about the role of the syllogism and the senses of logic in the book. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m reading Grattan-Guinness’s The Search for Mathematical Roots. There is a lot of philosophically interesting material in the book although a decent amount of his commentary on it is not particularly illuminating. Nonetheless, he gives a pretty good sense of the development of certain trends and the development of some concepts. In particular, the development of the algebraic tradition in logic is helpful, especially alongside the first chapter of Badesa’s book. He doesn’t put as fine a point on it as I’d like though. The presentation of the development of Russell’s logicism and his split from his neo-hegelian upbringing is well done. I’m going to write up some notes on the book, which will be spread over a few posts. In this one, I’ll focus on a few sections from the middle of the book. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m slightly late with this, but I’ll go ahead with it anyway. A few posts ago I said that I’d come up with some reflections on the term. This is more for my benefit than for the benefit of others, but someone might find it interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

I wanted to avoid having another post that was primarily a link, but I seem to be having some difficulty of getting a post together lately. In any case, there is a review of Gillian Russell’s Truth in Virtue of Meaning up at NDPR. The review seems to be fairly detailed, so I’ll let it stand on its own.


Shawn Standefer, recent Ph.D. in philosophy from Pitt. (More about me)