In the remainder of this article, we will disarm an important motivation for epistemic contextualism and interest-relative invariantism. We will accomplish this by presenting a stringent test of whether there is a stakes effect on ordinary knowledge ascription. Having shown that, even on a stringent way of testing, stakes fail to impact ordinary knowledge ascription, we will conclude that we should take another look at classical invariantism. Here is how we will proceed. Section 1 lays out some limitations of previous (...) research on stakes. Section 2 presents our study and concludes that there is little evidence for a substantial stakes effect. Section 3 responds to objections. The conclusion clears the way for classical invariantism. (shrink)
Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all since the case has an obvious solution. To assess these proposals, we conducted a cross-cultural study involving nearly 3,000 people across twenty-two countries, speaking eighteen (...) different languages. Our results speak against the proposal that there is no puzzle at all and against the proposal that there is a puzzle but one that has no solution. Our results suggest that there are two criteria—“continuity of form” and “continuity of matter”— that constitute our concept of persistence and these two criteria receive different weightings in settling matters concerning persistence. (shrink)
This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition in 24 sites, located in 23 countries and across 17 languages. We also consider the possible influence of gender and personality on this intuition with a very large sample size. Finally, we examine whether the Gettier intuition varies across people as a function of their disposition to engage in “reflective” thinking.
Since at least Hume and Kant, philosophers working on the nature of aesthetic judgment have generally agreed that common sense does not treat aesthetic judgments in the same way as typical expressions of subjective preferences—rather, it endows them with intersubjective validity, the property of being right or wrong regardless of disagreement. Moreover, this apparent intersubjective validity has been taken to constitute one of the main explananda for philosophical accounts of aesthetic judgment. But is it really the case that most people (...) spontaneously treat aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity? In this paper, we report the results of a cross‐cultural study with over 2,000 respondents spanning 19 countries. Despite significant geographical variations, these results suggest that most people do not treat their own aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for theories of aesthetic judgment and the purpose of aesthetics in general. (shrink)
HellmanGeoffrey ** and ShapiroStewart. **** Mathematical Structuralism. Cambridge Elements in the Philosophy of Mathematics, RushPenelope and ShapiroStewart, eds. Cambridge University Press, 2019. Pp. iv + 94. ISBN 978-1-108-45643-2, 978-1-108-69728-6. doi: 10.1017/9781108582933.
Foundational projects disagree on whether pure and applied mathematics should be explained together. Proponents of unified accounts like neologicists defend Frege’s Constraint (FC), a principle demanding that an explanation of applicability be provided by mathematical definitions. I reconsider the philosophical import of FC, arguing that usual conceptions are biased by ontological assumptions. I explore more reasonable weaker variants — Moderate and Modest FC — arguing against common opinion that ante rem structuralism (and other) views can meet them. I dispel doubts (...) that such constraints are ‘toothless’, showing they both assuage Frege’s original concerns and accommodate neo-logicist intents by dismissing ‘arrogant’ definitions. (shrink)
The indispensability argument comes in many different versions that all reduce to a general valid schema. Providing a sound IA amounts to providing a full interpretation of the schema according to which all its premises are true. Hence, arguing whether IA is sound results in wondering whether the schema admits such an interpretation. We discuss in full details all the parameters on which the specification of the general schema may depend. In doing this, we consider how different versions of IA (...) can be obtained, also through different specifications of the notion of indispensability. We then distinguish between schematic and genuine IA, and argue that no genuine sound IA is available or easily forthcoming. We then submit that this holds also in the particularly relevant case in which indispensability is conceived as explanatory indispensability. (shrink)
Indispensability arguments for mathematical realism are commonly traced back to Quine. We identify two different Quinean strands in the interpretation of IA, what we label the ‘logical point of view’ and the ‘theory-contribution’ point of view. Focusing on each of the latter, we offer two minimal versions of IA. These both dispense with a number of theoretical assumptions commonly thought to be relevant to IA. We then show that the attribution of both minimal arguments to Quine is controversial, and stress (...) the extent to which this is so in both cases, in order to attain a better appreciation of the Quinean heritage of IA. (shrink)
The author of “Evidence, Explanation, Enhanced Indispensability” advances a criticism to the Enhanced Indispensability Argument and the use of Inference to the Best Explanation in order to draw ontological conclusions from mathematical explanations in science. His argument relies on the availability of equivalent though competing explanations, and a pluralist stance on explanation. I discuss whether pluralism emerges as a stable position, and focus here on two main points: whether cases of equivalent explanations have been actually offered, and which ontological consequences (...) should follow from these. (shrink)
In Grundgesetze, Vol. II, §91, Frege argues that ‘it is applicability alone which elevates arithmetic from a game to the rank of a science’. Many view this as an in nuce statement of the indispensability argument later championed by Quine. Garavaso has questioned this attribution. I argue that even though Frege's applicability argument is not a version of ia, it facilitates acceptance of suitable formulations of ia. The prospects for making the empiricist ia compatible with a rationalist Fregean framework appear (...) thus much less dim than expected. Nonetheless, those arguing for such compatibility eventually face an hardly surmountable dilemma. (shrink)
Recent discussions on Fregean and neo-Fregean foundations for arithmetic and real analysis pay much attention to what is called either ‘Application Constraint’ or ‘Frege Constraint’, the requirement that a mathematical theory be so outlined that it immediately allows explaining for its applicability. We distinguish between two constraints, which we, respectively, denote by the latter of these two names, by showing how$AC$generalizes Frege’s views while$FC$comes closer to his original conceptions. Different authors diverge on the interpretation of$FC$and on whether it applies to (...) definitions of both natural and real numbers. Our aim is to trace the origins of$FC$and to explore how different understandings of it can be faithful to Frege’s views about such definitions and to his foundational program. After rehearsing the essential elements of the relevant debate, we appropriately distinguish$AC$from$FC$. We discuss six rationales which may motivate the adoption of different instances of$AC$and$FC$. We turn to the possible interpretations of$FC$, and advance a Semantic$FC$, arguing that while it suits Frege’s definition of natural numbers, it cannot reasonably be imposed on definitions of real numbers, for reasons only partly similar to those offered by Crispin Wright. We then rehearse a recent exchange between Bob Hale and Vadim Batitzky to shed light on Frege’s conception of real numbers and magnitudes. We argue that an Architectonic version of$FC$is indeed faithful to Frege’s definition of real numbers, and compatible with his views on natural ones. Finally, we consider how attributing different instances of$FC$to Frege and appreciating the role of the Architectonic$FC$can provide a more perspicuous understanding of his foundational program, by questioning common pictures of his logicism. (shrink)
How many logics do logical pluralists adopt, or are allowed to adopt, or ought to adopt, in arguing for their view? These metatheoretical questions lurk behind much of the discussion on logical pluralism, and have a direct bearing on normative issues concerning the choice of a correct logic and the characterization of valid reasoning. Still, they commonly receive just swift answers – if any. Our aim is to tackle these questions head on, by clarifying the range of possibilities that logical (...) pluralists have at their disposal when it comes to the metatheory of their position, and by spelling out which routes are advisable. We explore ramifications of all relevant responses to our question: no logic, a single logic, more than one logic. In the end, we express skepticism that any proposed answer is viable. This threatens the coherence of current and future versions of logical pluralism. (shrink)
The recent debate on new realism has been widely influenced by Putnam’s views, especially by the distinction between scientific realism and natural or common seense realism. I locate the discussion on mathematical realism in the context of this wider debate. I suggest that a parallel distinction between science-based arguments for realism and more immediate forms of realism is avaiable for mathematics too. I point to differences between contemporary empiricist and intellectualist positions, and stress what I take to be some of (...) the most relevant aspects on which research in this area shall be pursued in the near future, especially concerning the problem of whether philosophical priority should be given to pure or applied mathematics. (shrink)
This volume covers a wide range of topics in the most recent debates in the philosophy of mathematics, and is dedicated to how semantic, epistemological, ontological and logical issues interact in the attempt to give a satisfactory picture of mathematical knowledge. The essays collected here explore the semantic and epistemic problems raised by different kinds of mathematical objects, by their characterization in terms of axiomatic theories, and by the objectivity of both pure and applied mathematics. They investigate controversial aspects of (...) contemporary theories such as neo-logicist abstractionism, structuralism, or multiversism about sets, by discussing different conceptions of mathematical realism and rival relativistic views on the mathematical universe. They consider fundamental philosophical notions such as set, cardinal number, truth, ground, finiteness and infinity, examining how their informal conceptions can best be captured in formal theories. The philosophy of mathematics is an extremely lively field of inquiry, with extensive reaches in disciplines such as logic and philosophy of logic, semantics, ontology, epistemology, cognitive sciences, as well as history and philosophy of mathematics and science. By bringing together well-known scholars and younger researchers, the essays in this collection – prompted by the meetings of the Italian Network for the Philosophy of Mathematics (FilMat) – show how much valuable research is currently being pursued in this area, and how many roads ahead are still open for promising solutions to long-standing philosophical concerns. Promoted by the Italian Network for the Philosophy of Mathematics – FilMat. (shrink)
A standard understanding of abstraction principles elicits two opposite readings: Intolerant Reductionism, where abstractions are seen as reducing talk of abstract objects to talk about non-problematic domains, and Robustionism, where newly introduced terms genuinely refer to abstract objects. Against this dichotomy between such “austere” and “robust” readings, Dummett suggested ways to steer intermediate paths. We explore different options for intermediate stances, by reviewing metaontological strategies and semantic ones. Based on Dummett’s and Picardi’s understanding of the Context Principle, the paper acknowledges (...) that Frege’s Grundlagen are open to several interpretations of contextual definitions, and argues that the prospects for broadly Fregean intermediate views are all but foreclosed. (shrink)