Monday, 14 November 2011

Formal methods and history of philosophy

Things have been rather quiet here at M-Phi in the last couple of weeks. I can't speak for the others, but as far as I am concerned, the main reasons have been a full travel schedule and a lack of new ideas :) My formal languages project (and book) is virtually finalized, but I haven't really got going yet with the new project on deduction, and it's usually in connection with my research that I have ideas for M-Phi blog posts.

But anyway, one thing I have been doing is working on my chapter for the Handbook of Formal Philosophy, edited by Sven Ove Hansson and Vincent F. Hendricks. The chapter is on uses of formal methods in the study of the history of philosophy (having done a fair amount of 'formal history of philosophy' myself). It presents methodological considerations and three case studies: Aristotle's syllogistic, Anselm's ontological argument, and medieval theories of supposition. More generally, the application of formal methods in the study of the history of philosophy offers an interesting vantage point to reflect on the methodology of formal methods across the board.

I've put a draft of the chapter online, should anyone be interested in taking a look; as always, comments are welcome.

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