You Can’t Mean That: Yablo’s Figuralist Account of Mathematics


Burgess and Rosen argue that Yablo’s figuralist account of mathematics fails because it says mathematical claims are really only metaphorical. They suggest Yablo’s view is implausible as an account of what mathematicians say and confused about literal language. I show their argument isn’t decisive, briefly exploring some questions in the philosophy of language it raises, and argue Yablo’s view may be amended to a kind of revolutionary fictionalism not refuted by Burgess and Rosen.



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Sarah Hoffman
University of Saskatchewan

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References found in this work

Platonism and anti-Platonism in mathematics.Mark Balaguer - 1998 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts.Kendall L. Walton - 1990 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 49 (2):161-166.
Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics.Mark Balaguer - 1998 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 8 (4):516-518.
Go figure: A path through fictionalism.Stephen Yablo - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):72–102.

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