Journal of Philosophical Logic

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 181–226 | Cite as

A New Analysis of Quasianalysis

  • Hannes Leitgeb


We investigate the conditions under which quasianalysis, i.e., Carnap's method of abstraction in his Aufbau, yields adequate results. In particular, we state both necessary and sufficient conditions for the so-called faithfulness and fullness of quasianalysis, and analyze adequacy as the conjunction of faithfulness and fullness. It is shown that there is no method of (re-)constructing properties from similarity that delivers adequate results in all possible cases, if the same set of individuals is presupposed for properties and for similarity, and if similarity is a relation of finite arity. The theory is applied to various examples, including Russell's construction of temporal instants and Carnap's constitution of the phenomenal counterparts to quality spheres. Our results explain why the former is adequate while the latter is bound to fail.

Key words

abstraction Aufbau Carnap quasianalysis similarity 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Philosophy and MathematicsUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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