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The hardness of the iconic must: can Peirce's existential graphs assist modal epistemology?

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2012, 00:00 authored by Cathy LeggCathy Legg
Charles Peirce's diagrammatic logic — the Existential Graphs — is presented as a tool for illuminating how we know necessity, in answer to Benacerraf's famous challenge that most ‘semantics for mathematics’ do not ‘fit an acceptable epistemology’. It is suggested that necessary reasoning is in essence a recognition that a certain structure has the particular structure that it has. This means that, contra Hume and his contemporary heirs, necessity is observable. One just needs to pay attention, not merely to individual things but to how those things are related in larger structures, certain aspects of which relations force certain other aspects to be a certain way.

History

Journal

Philosophia mathematica (III)

Event

Philosophia Mathematica

Volume

20

Issue

1

Pagination

1 - 24

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Location

Oxford, Eng.

ISSN

1744-6406

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, The Author