Download e-book for iPad: Bolzano’s Theoretical Philosophy: An Introduction by Sandra Lapointe (auth.)

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Example text

Both notions are common themes in the literature. Yet, important features of both have been neglected. Consequently, their role in Bolzano’s theory has often been misunderstood with the upshot that crucial aspects of Bolzano’s theory as a whole have been completely overlooked. The concern that is at the core of virtually every discussion of Bolzano’s substitutional method is that the latter does not deliver the kind of results one would reasonably expect when it comes to defining analyticity and consequence and, in particular, that it does not account for the kind of epistemic and metaphysical necessity those notions are assumed to carry with them.

Two species that are subordinated to the same genus differ from one another by virtue of a determinate component, what is traditionally called the “specific difference”. For instance, the property of having a right angle is what distinguishes right triangles with respect to other species of triangles that fall under the same genus. The property of having a right angle is thus in this case the specific difference of right triangles. Arnauld and Nicole are assuming (i) and (ii) when they describe the relation between two concepts that are situated at different “levels”.

This is what Bolzano effectively sets out to do in the relevant sections of the Theory of Science. As Bolzano conceives of it, analysis is not and need not be meaning preserving. When Bolzano considers the interplay between sentences and propositions, his aim is to provide what he calls an “interpretation” (Auslegung) of sentences. On Bolzano’s view ‘It is snowing in Kansas City on 24 December 2009 at 22:30’ is the correct interpretation of the sentence ‘It is snowing now’ when uttered in Kansas City on the eve of Christmas 2009 at 22:30.

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