David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
If physicalism is true, everything is physical. In other words, everything supervenes on, or is necessitated by, the physical. Accordingly, if there are logical/mathematical facts, they must be necessitated by the physical facts of the world. In this paper, I will sketch the first steps of a physicalist philosophy of mathematics; that is, how physicalism can account for logical and mathematical facts. We will proceed as follows. First we will clarify what logical/mathematical facts actually are. Then, we will discuss how these facts can be accommodated in the physicalist ontology. This might sound like immanent realism (as in Mill, Armstrong, Kitcher, or Maddy), according to which the mathematical concepts and propositions reflect some fundamental features of the physical world. Although, in my final conclusion I will claim that mathematical and logical truths do have contingent content in a sophisticated sense, and they are about some peculiar part of the physical world, I reject the idea, as this thesis is usually understood, that mathematics is about the physical world in general. In fact, I reject the idea that mathematics is about anything. In contrast, the view I am proposing here will be based on the strongest formalist approach to mathematics.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
John Bigelow (1988). The Reality of Numbers: A Physicalist's Philosophy of Mathematics. Oxford University Press.
D. Gene Witmer (2006). How to Be a (Sort of) A Priori Physicalist. Philosophical Studies 131 (1):185-225.
Chris Pincock (2007). A Role for Mathematics in the Physical Sciences. Noûs 41 (2):253-275.
Otávio Bueno (2008). Truth and Proof. Manuscrito 31 (1).
Jill North (2009). The “Structure” of Physics. Journal of Philosophy 106 (2):57-88.
Alan Baker & Mark Colyvan (2011). Indexing and Mathematical Explanation. Philosophia Mathematica 19 (3):323-334.
László E. Szabó (2003). Formal Systems as Physical Objects: A Physicalist Account of Mathematical Truth. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):117 – 125.
La´Szlo´ E. Szabo´ (2003). Formal Systems as Physical Objects: A Physicalist Account of Mathematical Truth. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):117-125.
Added to index2010-05-09
Total downloads33 ( #56,714 of 1,102,133 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #128,850 of 1,102,133 )
How can I increase my downloads?