|Formalism: the thesis that statements acquire their meaning only from the rules for substituting, inserting, eliminating, forming, equality and inequality of symbols within a calculus or system. See also calculus, meaning, rules, content, correctness, systems, truth.|
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Symbol/blackening/Bigelow/Pargetter: some authors say that symbols are mere blackening on paper (e.g. numbers) or mere noises.
BigelowVsFormalism: Problem: on the one hand there are too many symbols then, on the other hand, too little.
Too little: for very large numbers there is no corresponding blackening or noise.
Too many: for smaller numbers there are too many different ways of representation, more than numbers are distinguished. E.g. "4", "four", "IV".
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990