What has Chihara's mathematical nominalism gained over mathematical realism?

The indispensability argument, which claims that science requires beliefs in mathematical entities, gives a strong motivation for mathematical realism. However, mathematical realism bears Benacerrafian ontological and epistemological problems. Although recent accounts of mathematical realism have attempted to cope with these problems, it seems that, at least, a satisfactory account of epistemology of mathematics has not been presented. For instance, Maddy's realism with perceivable sets and Resnik's and Shapiro's structuralism have their own epistemological problems. This fact has been a reason to rebut the indispensability argument and adopt mathematical nominalism. Since mathematical nominalism purports to be committed only to concretia, it seems that mathematical nominalism is epistemically friendlier than mathematical realism. However, when it comes to modal mathematical nominalism, this claim is not trivial. There is a reason for doubting the modal primitives that it invokes. In this thesis, this doubt is investigated through Chihara's Constructibility Theory. Chihara's Constructibility Theory purports not to be committed to abstracta by replacing existential assertions of the standard mathematics with ones of constructibility. However, the epistemological status of the primitives in Chihara's system can be doubted. Chihara might try to argue that the problem would dissolve by using possible world semantics as a didactic device to capture the primitive notions. Nonetheless, his analysis of possible world semantic is not plausible, when considered as a part of the project of nominalizing mathematics in terms of the Constructibility Theory.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,305
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Otávio Bueno (2008). Truth and Proof. Manuscrito 31 (1):419-440.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

38 ( #124,943 of 1,932,583 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #456,397 of 1,932,583 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.