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TRANH — Result In Brief

Project ID: 203194
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Netherlands

Science and philosophy

An EU team developed the ideas of Tarski and Carnap in terms of linguistically modelling classical scientific concepts. The work yielded a new method for such study, and produced new views of how scientific, mathematical and logical notions relate.
Science and philosophy
Alfred Tarski (1901-1983) was a Polish logician, philosopher and mathematician. He was best known for his influential mathematical definition of truth.

The EU-funded TRANH (Tarski's revolution: A new history. Semantics and axiomatics from Bolzano to Tarski against the background of the classical model of science) project examined discontinuities in the ideas of Tarski and others. Work relied on the classical model of science as a methodological interpretive framework, through which the team analysed conceptual philosophical and scientific information. The study focused on the recent 200 years of the history of central European philosophy.

Results shed light on the interrelation of certain fundamental concepts in mathematics, logic and science. Concepts including explanation, grounding and consequence were shown to be tighter and more modern during the 19th century than previously believed. The project's method also clarified Kant's concept of scientific explanation, and aided understanding of certain German philosophical views of biology. The work helped interpret biology in relation to other sciences.

The consortium illustrated the development of the key concept of domain of discourse and related themes from the early 20th century. The phase of study focused on texts by Tarski and Carnap, and showed that the concept of language as universal has gradually lost appeal.

A general outcome of the work was a new methodology for considering the history of ideas, whereby ideas form parts of models of cognitive schemata. A further model traced development of notions of fact and truth, and interrelations with part and whole.

Research yielded 40 open access publications, 3 books, 68 presentations and 3 dissertations, including 1 PhD.

The TRANH project found limitations in conventional histories of sciences. The resulting new methods will help researchers better approach the subject.

Related information


Science, philosophy, Tarski, TRANH, semantics, classical model of science
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