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Grant number like: FT-54299-06

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Erich H. Reck
Regents of the University of California, Riverside (Riverside, CA 92521-0001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 8/31/2006

Ernst Cassirer, Relational Structures, and the Philosophy of Symbolic Forms

During recent years, there has been a revival of interest in the philosophy of Ernst Cassirer (1874-1945), especially in his theory of symbolic forms. A relatively neglected aspect of this theory is his reconceptualization of modern mathematics and logic in terms of the notion of "relational structures". My goal is to establish, and illustrate, three related theses: First, Cassirer's use of that notion can be fruitfully compared to contemporary structuralist approaches in the philosophy of mathematics. Second, a full understanding of his theory of symbolic forms is only possible if we take his views on logic and mathematics seriously. Third, doing so also clarifies his mediating role between continental and analytic philosophy.