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Frege, Carnap, and Explication: ‘Our Concern Here Is to Arrive at a Concept of Number Usable for the Purpose of Science’

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This paper argues that Carnap both did not view and should not have viewed Frege's project in the foundations of mathematics as misguided metaphysics. The reason for this is that Frege's project was to give an explication of number in a very Carnapian sense — something that was not lost on Carnap. Furthermore, Frege gives pragmatic justification for the basic features of his system, especially where there are ontological considerations. It will be argued that even on the question of the independent existence of abstract objects, Frege and Carnap held remarkably similar views. I close with a discussion of why, despite all this, Frege would not accept the principle of tolerance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Concordia University, 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1M8,

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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