Beyond Witches, Angels and Unicorns. The Possibility of Expanding Russell's Existential Analysis
Olga Ramírez Calle
E-LOGOS, 2018, vol. 2018, issue 1, 4-15
This paper attempts to be a contribution to the epistemological project of explaining complex conceptual structures departing from more basic ones. The central thesis of the paper is that there are what I call "functionally structured concepts", these are non-harmonic concepts in Dummett's sense that might be legitimized if there is a function that justifies the tie between the inferential connection the concept allows us to trace. Proving this requires enhancing the russellian existential analysis of definite descriptions to apply to functions and using this in proving the legitimacy of such concepts. The utility of the proposal is shown for the case of thick ethical terms and an attempt is made to use it in explaining the development of natural numbers. This last move could allow us to go one step lower in explaining the genesis of natural numbers while maintaining the notion of abstract numbers as higher order entities.
Keywords: Russell; functionally structured concepts; definite descriptions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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