Re: Irving H. Anellis, et al.


Looking back from this moment, I think I see things a little differently.
The critical question is whether our theoretical description of inquiry
gives us a picture that is true to life, preserving the life of inquiry
and serving to guide it on its way, or whether it "murders to dissect",
leaving us with nothing but a Humpty Dumpty hodge-podge of false idols
and torn and twisted bits of maps that mislead the quest at every turn.

There is a natural semantics that informs mathematical inquiry.
It permeates the actual practice even of those who declare for
some variety of nominal faith in their idle off-hours.  Peirce
is unique in his ability to articulate the full dimensionality
of mathematical meaning, but echoes of his soundings keep this
core sense reverberating, however muted, throughout pragmatism.

If I sift the traditions of theoretical reflection on mathematics
according to how well their theoretical images manage to preserve
this natural stance on mathematical meaning, I would tend to sort
Frege more in a class with Boole, De Morgan, Peirce, and Schröder,
since I have the sense when I read them that they are all talking
like mathematicians, not like people who are alien to mathematics.




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