[FOM] axioms and implicit definitions

praatika@mappi.helsinki.fi praatika at mappi.helsinki.fi
Wed Oct 22 11:34:55 EDT 2008

There is a traditional conventionalist idea, sometimes ascribed to  
Hilbert, and apparently held e.g. by Schlick, that axioms *implicitly  
define* the meanings of the primitive expressions of the system, or  
something like that.

(The notion of "implicit definiability" intended here should not be  
conflated with the different idea with the same name in model theory;  
e.g. in Beth's theorem)

Surely many things could be said about this view, but it is not clear  
to me whether there is some widely accepted, standard criticism of  
this idea? Some standard references?

I have some patchy ideas about this, but I would be grateful for any  
informed advice.

Best, Panu

Panu Raatikainen

Ph.D., Academy Research Fellow,
Docent in Theoretical Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
University of Helsinki

E-mail: panu.raatikainen at helsinki.fi


More information about the FOM mailing list