Single Idea 17807

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 8. Theories in Logic]

Full Idea

In the study of formal systems we do not confine ourselves to the derivation of elementary propositions step by step. Rather we take the system, defined by its primitive frame, as datum, and then study it by any means at our command.

Gist of Idea

To study formal systems, look at the whole thing, and not just how it is constructed in steps


Haskell B. Curry (Remarks on the definition and nature of mathematics [1954], 'The formalist')

Book Reference

'Philosophy of Mathematics: readings (2nd)', ed/tr. Benacerraf/Putnam [CUP 1983], p.204

A Reaction

This is what may potentially lead to an essentialist view of such things. Focusing on bricks gives formalism, focusing on buildings gives essentialism.