I contend that mathematical domains are freestanding institutional entities that, at least typically, are introduced to serve representational functions. In this paper, I outline an account of institutional reality and a supporting metaontological perspective that clarify the content of this thesis. I also argue that a philosophy of mathematics that has this thesis as its central tenet can account for the objectivity, necessity, and atemporality of mathematics.
In this article, I articulate and defend an account of corporations motivated by John Searle’s discussion of them in his Making the Social World. According to this account, corporations are abstract entities that are the products of status function Declarations. They are also connected with, though not reducible to, various people and certain of the power relations among them. Moreover, these connections are responsible for corporations having features that stereotypical abstract entities lack (e.g., the abilities to take actions and make (...) profits). (shrink)
Two topics figure prominently in recent discussions of mathematical structuralism: challenges to the purported metaphysical insight provided by sui generis structuralism and the significance of category theory for understanding and articulating mathematical structuralism. This article presents an overview of central themes related to these topics.
I discuss a puzzle that shows there is a need to develop a new metaphysical interpretation of mathematical theories, because all well-known interpretations conflict with important aspects of mathematical activities. The new interpretation, I argue, must authenticate the ontological commitments of mathematical theories without curtailing mathematicians' freedom and authority to creatively introduce mathematical ontology during mathematical problem-solving. Further, I argue that these two constraints are best met by a metaphysical interpretation of mathematics that takes mathematical entities to be constitutively constructed (...) by human activity in a manner similar to the constitutive construction of the US Supreme Court by certain legal and political activities. Finally, I outline some of the philosophical merits of metaphysical interpretations of mathematical theories of this type. (shrink)