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Dreben, Logic, Nonsense, Herbrand

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Submitted by Richard Zach on Wed, 05/11/2005 - 3:55pm

There's an interesting discussion going on at Leiter's blog and on Certain Doubts about Dreben and the history of analytic philosophy. I recommend especially Jason Stanley's comment on the Certain Doubts post.

While on the subject of Dreben, I thought I'd point out something pointed out to me not too long ago by Bill Tait. Dreben is commonly credited with discovering the (now well-known) errors in Herbrand's Thesis. But these errors were actually discovered by Peter Andrews in 1961/62 (he was then a grad student at Princeton). Andrews has a full account of the discovery and the correspondence with Dreben in his Herbrand Award Acceptance Speech.


Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 05/14/2005 - 12:23am

What puzzles me about Dreben's position (aside from the fact that it's quite difficult to, as some have pointed out in the blog comments, find an actual concrete *argument* for why such and such is nonsense) is the fact he appears to think philosophical logic (and logic in general) is immune to the "nonsense critique". If he were purely a mathematician, his hostility to M&E might be at least more consistent, if not more plausible. But as one who worked in philosophical logic, his position seems quite ridiculous. Where do you draw the line between M&E and philosophical logic, or X and philosophical logic where X is some area in the analytic tradition that he labeled nonsensical? <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>Postmodernist

Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 05/14/2005 - 3:41pm

Is there any chance you can post an excerpt? It seems that we here don't subscribe to this journal so I can't look at the article, and I'd be interested to see it. If you can, that would be great. <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="" REL="nofollow" TITLE="mlister at law dot *upenn dot *edu">Matt<>

Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 05/14/2005 - 4:19pm

There's a draft posted on Andrews's website. <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="" REL="nofollow" TITLE="rzach at ucalgary dot ca">Richard Zach<>

Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 05/14/2005 - 5:32pm

Hi Richard,Thanks for the pointer- unfortunately I can't open that one either! (it's in .ps format which I can't open.)  <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="" REL="nofollow" TITLE="mlister at law dot *upenn dot *edu">Matt<>