[FOM] methodological thesis

rgheck rgheck at brown.edu
Thu May 1 16:28:10 EDT 2008

Marcin Mostowski wrote:
> Richard Heck seemingly gives a few counterexamples. Some of them are hard to 
> evaluate for me because I do not remember all the details of quoted books. I 
> will comment only two of them. 
> Counterexample 2: Peter Strawson, /Individuals/
> As I remember it was an attempt to make an informally formulated ontology 
> based on ramified type theory. Goedel a few years later presented his 
> constructible sets theory in a way much better than Strawson and much more 
> conclusive. This example supports rather the Friedman thesis. 
Uh, no, you're not remembering. That's not remotely what Strawson was up 
to, and constructible sets have nothing to do with it.

> Counterexample 7: David Hume, /A Treatise of Human Nature/
> This is a good example of pretheoretical work in psychology covered later by 
> psychological investigations, which seems still to be at starting level of 
> any good scientific theory. 
To be sure, Hume's ideas about psychology are inspirational. (See
Fodor's recent book _Hume Variations_.) But Harvey spoke of FORMAL
ideas. And aren't you rather forgetting about Book III?


Richard G Heck Jr
Professor of Philosophy
Brown University

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