Ahti Veikko Pietarinen


University of Helsinki

Pragmatism and Mathematical Logic, 1900-1914

In a paper first published in Leonardo (February 1906) and reprinted in The Monist next to Peirce’s Prolegomena (October 1906), Vailati identified several “pragmatic characteristics” of mathematical logic. He argued that the fact that the inventor of pragmatism, Peirce, was himself an original mathematical logician provides “a significant indication of the intimate connection” between mathematical logic and pragmatism. The aim of this paper is to chart the early encounters between pragmatism (understood as a philosophical method) and mathematical logic (understood as a scientific theory).