Bolzano's Programme and Abstract Objects

Grazer Philosophische Studien 53 (1):167-180 (1997)
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Abstract

Most of the Bolzano literature is exegetical, neglecting, unfortunately, the great potential of his logic as the beginning of a PROGRAMME. Specifically, his unorthodox construai of the consequence relation as triadic, and his account of logical form are promising beginnings which even as they stand shed light on question of relevance, the ancient problems of enthymemes and others. Instead of developing these suggestions, Bolzano scholars have been occupied with elucidating the ontology of sentences in themselves, and related topics. I argue, and believe to be in agreement with Bolzano, that the nature of sentences is fully explained by the relations that hold between them, just as money has no nature or essence beyond the transactions it makes possible. It follows that the development of his logic would contribute at least as much to the understanding of sentences than any exegesis.

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