Awareness of Abstract Objects

Noûs 47 (4):706-726 (2013)
Abstract
Awareness is a two-place determinable relation some determinates of which are seeing, hearing, etc. Abstract objects are items such as universals and functions, which contrast with concrete objects such as solids and liquids. It is uncontroversial that we are sometimes aware of concrete objects. In this paper I explore the more controversial topic of awareness of abstract objects. I distinguish two questions. First, the Existence Question: are there any experiences that make their subjects aware of abstract objects? Second, the Grounding Question: if an experience makes its subject aware of an abstract object, in virtue of what does it do so? I defend the view that intuitions, specifically mathematical intuitions, sometimes make their subjects aware of abstract objects. In defending this view, I develop an account of the ground of intuitive awareness.
Keywords intuition  awareness  abstract objects  mathematics  epistemology
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References found in this work BETA
Paul Benacerraf (1973). Mathematical Truth. Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):661-679.
John Bengson (2013). Experimental Attacks on Intuitions and Answers. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):495-532.
Paul Boghossian (2001). Inference and Insight. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (3):633–640.

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Citations of this work BETA
Elijah Chudnoff (2013). Is Intuition Based On Understanding? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):42-67.
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