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Formalism

In Stewart Shapiro (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 236--317 (2005)

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  1. Mario Bunge’s Philosophy of Mathematics: An Appraisal.Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2012 - Science & Education 21 (10):1567-1594.
    In this paper, I present and discuss critically the main elements of Mario Bunge’s philosophy of mathematics. In particular, I explore how mathematical knowledge is accounted for in Bunge’s systemic emergent materialism.To Mario, with gratitude.
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  • On Bourbaki’s Axiomatic System for Set Theory.Maribel Anacona, Luis Carlos Arboleda & F. Javier Pérez-Fernández - 2014 - Synthese 191 (17):4069-4098.
    In this paper we study the axiomatic system proposed by Bourbaki for the Theory of Sets in the Éléments de Mathématique. We begin by examining the role played by the sign \(\uptau \) in the framework of its formal logical theory and then we show that the system of axioms for set theory is equivalent to Zermelo–Fraenkel system with the axiom of choice but without the axiom of foundation. Moreover, we study Grothendieck’s proposal of adding to Bourbaki’s system the axiom (...)
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  • Burt C. Hopkins: The Origin of the Logic of Symbolic Mathematics. Edmund Husserl and Jacob Klein: Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana University Press, 2011, 559 Pp., ISBN 978-0-253-35671-0. [REVIEW]Mirja Hartimo - 2013 - Husserl Studies 29 (3):239-249.
  • Hume Against the Geometers.Dan Kervick -
    In the Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume mounts a spirited assault on the doctrine of the infinite divisibility of extension, and he defends in its place the contrary claim that extension is everywhere only finitely divisible. Despite this major departure from the more conventional conceptions of space embodied in traditional geometry, Hume does not endorse any radical reform of geometry. Instead Hume espouses a more conservative approach, claiming that geometry fails only “in this single point” – in its purported (...)
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  • Syntactic Reduction in Husserl’s Early Phenomenology of Arithmetic.Mirja Hartimo & Mitsuhiro Okada - 2016 - Synthese 193 (3):937-969.
    The paper traces the development and the role of syntactic reduction in Edmund Husserl’s early writings on mathematics and logic, especially on arithmetic. The notion has its origin in Hermann Hankel’s principle of permanence that Husserl set out to clarify. In Husserl’s early texts the emphasis of the reductions was meant to guarantee the consistency of the extended algorithm. Around the turn of the century Husserl uses the same idea in his conception of definiteness of what he calls “mathematical manifolds.” (...)
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  • Does Homotopy Type Theory Provide a Foundation for Mathematics?James Ladyman & Stuart Presnell - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw006.
    Homotopy Type Theory is a putative new foundation for mathematics grounded in constructive intensional type theory that offers an alternative to the foundations provided by ZFC set theory and category theory. This article explains and motivates an account of how to define, justify, and think about HoTT in a way that is self-contained, and argues that, so construed, it is a candidate for being an autonomous foundation for mathematics. We first consider various questions that a foundation for mathematics might be (...)
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  • Cognitive Artifacts for Geometric Reasoning.Mateusz Hohol & Marcin Miłkowski - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (4):657-680.
    In this paper, we focus on the development of geometric cognition. We argue that to understand how geometric cognition has been constituted, one must appreciate not only individual cognitive factors, such as phylogenetically ancient and ontogenetically early core cognitive systems, but also the social history of the spread and use of cognitive artifacts. In particular, we show that the development of Greek mathematics, enshrined in Euclid’s Elements, was driven by the use of two tightly intertwined cognitive artifacts: the use of (...)
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  • Frege, Hankel, and Formalism in the Foundations.Richard Lawrence - forthcoming - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy.
    Frege says, at the end of a discussion of formalism in the Foundations of Arithmetic, that his own foundational program ``could be called formal'' but is ``completely different'' from the view he has just criticized. This essay examines Frege's relationship to Hermann Hankel, his main formalist interlocutor in the Foundations, in order to make sense of these claims. The investigation reveals a surprising result: Frege's foundational program actually has quite a lot in common with Hankel's. This undercuts Frege's claim that (...)
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  • Pasch's Empiricism as Methodological Structuralism.Dirk Schlimm - 2020 - In Erich Reck & Georg Schiemer (eds.), The Pre-History of Mathematical Structuralism. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 80-105.
  • Frege’s Puzzle and Arithmetical Formalism. Putting Things in Context.Sorin Costreie - 2013 - History and Philosophy of Logic 34 (3):207-224.
    The paper discusses the emergence of Frege's puzzle and the introduction of the celebrated distinction between sense and reference in the context of Frege's logicist project. The main aim of the paper is to show that not logicism per se is mainly responsible for this introduction, but Frege's constant struggle against formalism. Thus, the paper enlarges the historical context, and provides a reconstruction of Frege's philosophical development from this broader perspective.
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  • A Cognitive Approach to Benacerraf's Dilemma.Luke Jerzykiewicz - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
    One of the important challenges in the philosophy of mathematics is to account for the semantics of sentences that express mathematical propositions while simultaneously explaining our access to their contents. This is Benacerraf’s Dilemma. In this dissertation, I argue that cognitive science furnishes new tools by means of which we can make progress on this problem. The foundation of the solution, I argue, must be an ontologically realist, albeit non-platonist, conception of mathematical reality. The semantic portion of the problem can (...)
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  • What’s the Point of Complete Rigour?A. C. Paseau - 2016 - Mind 125 (497):177-207.
    Complete inferential rigour is achieved by breaking down arguments into steps that are as small as possible: inferential ‘atoms’. For example, a mathematical or philosophical argument may be made completely inferentially rigorous by decomposing its inferential steps into the type of step found in a natural deduction system. It is commonly thought that atomization, paradigmatically in mathematics but also more generally, is pro tanto epistemically valuable. The paper considers some plausible candidates for the epistemic value arising from atomization and finds (...)
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  • Structuring Logical Space.Alejandro Pérez Carballo - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):460-491.
    I develop a non-representationalist account of mathematical thought, on which the point of mathematical theorizing is to provide us with the conceptual capacity to structure and articulate information about the physical world in an epistemically useful way. On my view, accepting a mathematical theory is not a matter of having a belief about some subject matter; it is rather a matter of structuring logical space, in a sense to be made precise. This provides an elegant account of the cognitive utility (...)
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  • Are Mathematicians Better Described as Formalists or Pluralists?Andrea Pedeferri & Michele Friend - 2011 - Logic and Philosophy of Science 9 (1):173-180.
    In this paper we try to convert the mathematician who calls himself, or herself, “a formalist” to a position we call “meth-odological pluralism”. We show how the actual practice of mathe-matics fits methodological pluralism better than formalism while preserving the attractive aspects of formalism of freedom and crea-tivity. Methodological pluralism is part of a larger, more general, pluralism, which is currently being developed as a position in the philosophy of mathematics in its own right.1 Having said that, henceforth, in this (...)
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  • Mathematical Abstraction, Conceptual Variation and Identity.Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2014 - In Peter Schroeder-Heister, Gerhard Heinzmann, Wilfred Hodges & Pierre Edouard Bour (eds.), Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Proceedings of the 14th International Congress. London, UK: pp. 299-322.
    One of the key features of modern mathematics is the adoption of the abstract method. Our goal in this paper is to propose an explication of that method that is rooted in the history of the subject.
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  • Dowód matematyczny z punktu widzenia formalizmu matematycznego. Część II.Krzysztof Wójtowicz - 2007 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 55 (2):139-153.
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  • Solutions in Constructive Field Theory.Leif Hancox-Li - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):335-358.
    Constructive field theory aims to rigorously construct concrete, nontrivial solutions to Lagrangians used in particle physics. I examine the relationship of solutions in constructive field theory to both axiomatic and Lagrangian quantum field theory. I argue that Lagrangian QFT provides conditions for what counts as a successful constructive solution and other information that guides constructive field theorists to solutions. Solutions matter because they describe the behavior of QFT systems and thus what QFT says the world is like. Constructive field theory (...)
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  • Two Kinds of Definition in Spinoza's Ethics.Kristina Meshelski - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (2):201-218.
    Spinoza scholars have claimed that we are faced with a dilemma: either Spinoza's definitions in his Ethics are real, in spite of indications to the contrary, or the definitions are nominal and the propositions derived from them are false. I argue that Spinoza did not recognize the distinction between real and nominal definitions. Rather, Spinoza classified definitions according to whether they require a priori or a posteriori justification, which is a classification distinct from either the real/nominal or the intensional/extensional classification. (...)
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  • Arbitrary Combination and the Use of Signs in Mathematics: Kant’s 1763 Prize Essay and its Wolffian Background.Katherine Dunlop - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (5-6):658-685.
    In his 1763 Prize Essay, Kant is thought to endorse a version of formalism on which mathematical concepts need not apply to extramental objects. Against this reading, I argue that the Prize Essay has sufficient resources to explain how the objective reference of mathematical concepts is secured. This account of mathematical concepts’ objective reference employs material from Wolffian philosophy. On my reading, Kant's 1763 view still falls short of his Critical view in that it does not explain the universal, unconditional (...)
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  • Berkeley and Proof in Geometry.Richard J. Brook - 2012 - Dialogue 51 (3):419-435.
    Berkeley in his Introduction to the Principles of Human knowledge uses geometrical examples to illustrate a way of generating “universal ideas,” which allegedly account for the existence of general terms. In doing proofs we might, for example, selectively attend to the triangular shape of a diagram. Presumably what we prove using just that property applies to all triangles.I contend, rather, that given Berkeley’s view of extension, no Euclidean triangles exist to attend to. Rather proof, as Berkeley would normally assume, requires (...)
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  • Pasch’s Philosophy of Mathematics.Dirk Schlimm - 2010 - Review of Symbolic Logic 3 (1):93-118.
    Moritz Pasch (1843ber neuere Geometrie (1882), in which he also clearly formulated the view that deductions must be independent from the meanings of the nonlogical terms involved. Pasch also presented in these lectures the main tenets of his philosophy of mathematics, which he continued to elaborate on throughout the rest of his life. This philosophy is quite unique in combining a deductivist methodology with a radically empiricist epistemology for mathematics. By taking into consideration publications from the entire span of Paschs (...)
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  • Dowód matematyczny z punktu widzenia formalizmu matematycznego. Część I.Krzysztof Wójtowicz - 2007 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 55 (2):123-139.
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  • Mathematical Instrumentalism, Gödel’s Theorem, and Inductive Evidence.Alexander Paseau - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):140-149.
    Mathematical instrumentalism construes some parts of mathematics, typically the abstract ones, as an instrument for establishing statements in other parts of mathematics, typically the elementary ones. Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem seems to show that one cannot prove the consistency of all of mathematics from within elementary mathematics. It is therefore generally thought to defeat instrumentalisms that insist on a proof of the consistency of abstract mathematics from within the elementary portion. This article argues that though some versions of mathematical instrumentalism (...)
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