By M.A. Notturno

ISBN-10: 9024729564

ISBN-13: 9789024729562

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Extra resources for Objectivity, Rationality and the Third Realm: Justification and the Grounds of Psychologism: A Study of Frege and Popper

Sample text

Thus, in the proposition, All men are mortal, the word nlan connotes the attributes which we ascribe to a certain kind of living creatures, on the ground of certain phenomena which they exhibit, and which are partly physical phenomena, namely the impressions 111ade on our senses by their bodily form and structure, and partly mental phenomena, namely the sentient and intellectual life which they have of their own. All this is understood when we utter the word nlan, by anyone to whom the meaning of the word is known.

But arithmetic would be subject to the basic laws of psychology or physics in the same way in which optics is subject to the basic laws of physics and biology and chemistry is thought reducible to physics. But closer examination reveals that it is not so much the autonomy of arithmetic as its objectivity that is at stake. Or are we to suppose arithmetic to be more autonomous for its being reducible to logic? Psychology, according to Frege, cannot provide the foundations of arithmetic not because airthmetic is autonomous, but because the subject n1atter of psychology is ontologically distinct from that of arithmetic.

So while Mill is prepared to grant the laws of logic the strictest universality, necessity, and certainty that experience will allow, this is, nonetheless, the strictest universality, necessity, and certainty that experience will allow. Frege opposed logical psychologism with the doctrine that logic is a normative and not a natural science: It will be granted by all at the outset that the laws of logic ought to be guiding principles for thought in the attainment of truth, yet this is only too easily forgotten, and here what is fatal is the double meaning of the word "law".

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Objectivity, Rationality and the Third Realm: Justification and the Grounds of Psychologism: A Study of Frege and Popper by M.A. Notturno


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