Edited by Rafal Urbaniak (University of Ghent, University of Gdansk)
|Summary||Mathematical structuralism is the view on which mathematical theories, rather than being about mathematical objects (like THE number zero, THE number one, etc., if there are such things), are about classes of structures (e.g., all omega sequences) whatever the objects in such structures are and whatever their nature is. The view comes in two important variants. Ante rem structuralism is a type of mathematical platonism, on which structures are abstract mathematical objects existing independently of their instances (called systems). In rebus structuralism is the view on which mathematical theories are about systems, which do not have to be abstract. So the former has to handle the problems that mathematical platonism encounters and the latter has to handle the problems encountered by mathematical nominalism. Apart from that, both approaches face specific challenges related to how the notion of a structure is understood and how it is to be squared with mathematical practice and the applicability of mathematics.|
|Key works||Benacerraf 1965, Hellman 1989, Resnik Michael 1997, Shapiro 1997, Charles 2003.|
|Introductions||Start with appropriate sections of Horsten 2008 and references therein. Also worth a read are Shapiro 2010 and Shapiro 1996.|
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