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Sandra Lapointe

Mathematics, Logic and Philosophy in the Works of Bernard Bolzano

Abstract: Bernard Bolzano is one of the few philosophers of the last two centuries whose contribution to the rise of modern mathematics is still recognised today. According to Bolzano, progress in mathematics could only be achieved through a radical reform of logic, and a substantial part of his work, in particular his Theory of Science (1837) aim at defining the principles on the basis of which proofs should be conducted. Bolzano’s reflections on the scope and method of logic as well as on the nature of the relationship between logic and mathematics were formidably rich. They also anticipated some of the views associated later with the époque-making theories of philosophers, logicians and mathematicians such as Frege, Russell, Tarski and Quine. The paper discusses Bolzano’s views on the relation between logic and mathematics, situating them in historical context and assessing them in light of more contemporary conceptions.

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Date(s) - October 2, 2015
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

McMaster Univerisity, Hamilton Hall 305


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