Philosophia Mathematica 28 (1):35-59 (2020)

Majid D. Beni
Middle East Technical University
ABSTRACT Benacerraf has presented two problems for the philosophy of mathematics. These are the problem of identification and the problem of representation. This paper aims to reconstruct the latter problem and to unpack its undermining bearing on the version of Ontic Structural Realism that frames scientific representations in terms of abstract structures. I argue that the dichotomy between mathematical structures and physical ones cannot be used to address the Benacerraf problem but strengthens it. I conclude by arguing that versions of OSR that do not rely on mathematical frameworks for representational purposes need not be vulnerable to Benacerraf’s second problem.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/philmat/nkz022
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,657
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Realism, Mathematics and Modality.Hartry Field - 1988 - Philosophical Topics 16 (1):57-107.
Mathematical Truth.Paul Benacerraf - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):661-679.
What Numbers Could Not Be.Paul Benacerraf - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):47-73.

View all 83 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Inflating the social aspects of cognitive structural realism.Majid D. Beni - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-18.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

C. I. Lewis and the Benacerraf Problem.Bob Fischer - 2018 - Episteme 15 (2):154-165.
Blurring: Structural Realism and the Wigner Puzzle.Alexander James Gillett - 2012 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):33-52.
Do Objects Depend on Structures?Johanna Wolff - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (3):607-625.
A Cognitive Approach to Benacerraf's Dilemma.Luke Jerzykiewicz - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
Applied Mathematics in the Sciences.Dale Jacquette - 2012 - In Majda Trobok Nenad Miščević & Berislav Žarnić (eds.), Croatian Journal of Philosophy. Springer. pp. 29--57.
Uma Solução para o Problema de Benacerraf.Eduardo Castro - 2009 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 13 (1):7-28.
Applied Mathematics in the Sciences.Dale Jacquette - 2006 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 17 (2):237-267.


Added to PP index

Total views
24 ( #461,337 of 2,462,370 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #299,176 of 2,462,370 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes