Lexicon of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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Friedrich Waismann Suchen und Finden in der Mathematik 1938 in Kursbuch 8 Mathematik 1967

Is every discovery the result of a search? It seemed absurd to say:
For example, "Descartes had for a long time the intention of discovering analytical geometry."
E.g. to discover the pathogen of malaria is however something, which one can try a long time.
Again the question: how can one discover something, after which one has not searched?
Sheffer, for example, discovered the possibility of constructing negation and disjunction with a single basic concept, the one of intolerance.
He has then discovered a new system, more precisely, he has looked into a new structure in the old system. His view is crucial: as long as he does not see the system, he does not have it.
Frege would not have it for example, if he had accidentally written in the form of the new system. Von Sheffer, on the other hand, would also be said to have discovered the new system if he had not introduced a new own sign. (Scheffer stroke: instead of "~ (...) v ~ (...).)

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