Beyond the axioms: The question of objectivity in mathematics

Philosophia Mathematica 9 (1):21-36 (2001)
This paper contains a defense against anti-realism in mathematics in the light both of incompleteness and of the fact that mathematics is a ‘cultural artifact.’. Anti-realism (here) is the view that theorems, say, of aritltmetic cannot be taken at face value to express true propositions about the system of numbers but must be reconstrued to be about somctliiiig else or about nothing at all. A ‘bite-the-bullet’ aspect of the defease is that, adopting new axioms, liitherto independent, is not. a matter of recognizing trutlis wliich had previoasly been unrecognized, but of extending the domain of what is true.
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DOI 10.1093/philmat/9.1.21
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