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The Philosophy of Mathematics

(ed.)
Oxford University Press (1996)

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  1. Great Philosophy: Discovery, Invention, and the Uses of Error.Christopher Norris - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (3):349-379.
    In this essay I consider what is meant by the description ‘great’ philosophy and then offer some broadly applicable criteria by which to assess candidate thinkers or works. On the one hand are philosophers in whose case the epithet, even if contested, is not grossly misconceived or merely the product of doctrinal adherence on the part of those who apply it. On the other are those – however gifted, acute, or technically adroit – to whom its application is inappropriate because (...)
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  • Non-Ontological Structuralism†.Michael Resnik - 2019 - Philosophia Mathematica 27 (3):303-315.
    ABSTRACT Historical structuralist views have been ontological. They either deny that there are any mathematical objects or they maintain that mathematical objects are structures or positions in them. Non-ontological structuralism offers no account of the nature of mathematical objects. My own structuralism has evolved from an early sui generis version to a non-ontological version that embraces Quine’s doctrine of ontological relativity. In this paper I further develop and explain this view.
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  • Survey Article. Listening to Fictions: A Study of Fieldian Nominalism.F. MacBride - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (3):431-455.
    One cannot escape the feeling that these mathematical formulae have an independent existence and an intelligence of their own, that they are wiser than we are, wiser even than their discoverers.
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  • The Identity Problem for Realist Structuralism.J. Keranen - 2001 - Philosophia Mathematica 9 (3):308--330.
    According to realist structuralism, mathematical objects are places in abstract structures. We argue that in spite of its many attractions, realist structuralism must be rejected. For, first, mathematical structures typically contain intra-structurally indiscernible places. Second, any account of place-identity available to the realist structuralist entails that intra-structurally indiscernible places are identical. Since for her mathematical singular terms denote places in structures, she would have to say, for example, that 1 = − 1 in the group (Z, +). We call this (...)
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  • Seventh Quadrennial Fellows Conference of the Center for Philosophy of Science.-Preprint Volume- - unknown
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  • The Nature of Intuitive Justification.Elijah Chudnoff - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (2):313 - 333.
    In this paper I articulate and defend a view that I call phenomenal dogmatism about intuitive justification. It is dogmatic because it includes the thesis: if it intuitively seems to you that p, then you thereby have some prima facie justification for believing that p. It is phenomenalist because it includes the thesis: intuitions justify us in believing their contents in virtue of their phenomenology—and in particular their presentational phenomenology. I explore the nature of presentational phenomenology as it occurs perception, (...)
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  • Hilbert's Finitism: Historical, Philosophical, and Metamathematical Perspectives.Richard Zach - 2001 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    In the 1920s, David Hilbert proposed a research program with the aim of providing mathematics with a secure foundation. This was to be accomplished by first formalizing logic and mathematics in their entirety, and then showing---using only so-called finitistic principles---that these formalizations are free of contradictions. ;In the area of logic, the Hilbert school accomplished major advances both in introducing new systems of logic, and in developing central metalogical notions, such as completeness and decidability. The analysis of unpublished material presented (...)
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  • The Inscrutability of Reference.Robert Williams - 2005 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    The metaphysics of representation poses questions such as: in virtue of what does a sentence, picture, or mental state represent that the world is a certain way? In the first instance, I have focused on the semantic properties of language: for example, what is it for a name such as ‘London’ to refer to something? Interpretationism concerning what it is for linguistic expressions to have meaning, says that constitutively, semantic facts are fixed by best semantic theory. As here developed, it (...)
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  • What Perception is Doing, and What It is Not Doing, in Mathematical Reasoning.Dennis Lomas - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (2):205-223.
    What is perception doing in mathematical reasoning? To address this question, I discuss the role of perception in geometric reasoning. Perception of the shape properties of concrete diagrams provides, I argue, a surrogate consciousness of the shape properties of the abstract geometric objects depicted in the diagrams. Some of what perception is not doing in mathematical reasoning is also discussed. I take issue with both Parsons and Maddy. Parsons claims that we perceive a certain type of abstract object. Maddy claims (...)
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  • Deflationism, Arithmetic, and the Argument From Conservativeness.Daniel Waxman - 2017 - Mind 126 (502):429-463.
    Many philosophers believe that a deflationist theory of truth must conservatively extend any base theory to which it is added. But when applied to arithmetic, it's argued, the imposition of a conservativeness requirement leads to a serious objection to deflationism: for the Gödel sentence for Peano Arithmetic is not a theorem of PA, but becomes one when PA is extended by adding plausible principles governing truth. This paper argues that no such objection succeeds. The issue turns on how we understand (...)
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  • Gödel on Truth and Proof.Dan Nesher - unknown
  • Indefiniteness of Mathematical Objects.Ken Akiba - 2000 - Philosophia Mathematica 8 (1):26--46.
    The view that mathematical objects are indefinite in nature is presented and defended, hi the first section, Field's argument for fictionalism, given in response to Benacerraf's problem of identification, is closely examined, and it is contended that platonists can solve the problem equally well if they take the view that mathematical objects are indefinite. In the second section, two general arguments against the intelligibility of objectual indefiniteness are shown erroneous, hi the final section, the view is compared to mathematical structuralism, (...)
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  • Philosophy of Mathematics.Jeremy Avigad - manuscript
    The philosophy of mathematics plays an important role in analytic philosophy, both as a subject of inquiry in its own right, and as an important landmark in the broader philosophical landscape. Mathematical knowledge has long been regarded as a paradigm of human knowledge with truths that are both necessary and certain, so giving an account of mathematical knowledge is an important part of epistemology. Mathematical objects like numbers and sets are archetypical examples of abstracta, since we treat such objects in (...)
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  • Too Naturalist and Not Naturalist Enough: Reply to Horsten.Luca Incurvati - 2008 - Erkenntnis 69 (2):261 - 274.
    Leon Horsten has recently claimed that the class of mathematical truths coincides with the class of theorems of ZFC. I argue that the naturalistic character of Horsten’s proposal undermines his contention that this claim constitutes an analogue of a thesis that Daniel Isaacson has advanced for PA. I argue, moreover, that Horsten’s defence of his claim against an obvious objection makes use of a distinction which is not available to him given his naturalistic approach. I suggest a way out of (...)
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  • On the Concept of Finitism.Luca Incurvati - 2015 - Synthese 192 (8):2413-2436.
    At the most general level, the concept of finitism is typically characterized by saying that finitistic mathematics is that part of mathematics which does not appeal to completed infinite totalities and is endowed with some epistemological property that makes it secure or privileged. This paper argues that this characterization can in fact be sharpened in various ways, giving rise to different conceptions of finitism. The paper investigates these conceptions and shows that they sanction different portions of mathematics as finitistic.
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  • Plural Quantification Exposed.Øystein Linnebo - 2003 - Noûs 37 (1):71–92.
    This paper criticizes George Boolos's famous use of plural quantification to argue that monadic second-order logic is pure logic. I deny that plural quantification qualifies as pure logic and express serious misgivings about its alleged ontological innocence. My argument is based on an examination of what is involved in our understanding of the impredicative plural comprehension schema.
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  • Indispensability Arguments in the Philosophy of Mathematics.Mark Colyvan - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    One of the most intriguing features of mathematics is its applicability to empirical science. Every branch of science draws upon large and often diverse portions of mathematics, from the use of Hilbert spaces in quantum mechanics to the use of differential geometry in general relativity. It's not just the physical sciences that avail themselves of the services of mathematics either. Biology, for instance, makes extensive use of difference equations and statistics. The roles mathematics plays in these theories is also varied. (...)
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