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Eileen S. Nutting
University of Kansas
  1. Constitutive essence and partial grounding.Eileen S. Nutting, Ben Caplan & Chris Tillman - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (2):137-161.
    Kit Fine and Gideon Rosen propose to define constitutive essence in terms of ground-theoretic notions and some form of consequential essence. But we think that the Fine–Rosen proposal is a mistake. On the Fine–Rosen proposal, constitutive essence ends up including properties that, on the central notion of essence, are necessary but not essential. This is because consequential essence is closed under logical consequence, and the ability of logical consequence to add properties to an object’s consequential essence outstrips the ability of (...)
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  2. Benacerraf, Field, and the agreement of mathematicians.Eileen S. Nutting - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2095-2110.
    Hartry Field’s epistemological challenge to the mathematical platonist is often cast as an improvement on Paul Benacerraf’s original epistemological challenge. I disagree. While Field’s challenge is more difficult for the platonist to address than Benacerraf’s, I argue that this is because Field’s version is a special case of what I call the ‘sociological challenge’. The sociological challenge applies equally to platonists and fictionalists, and addressing it requires a serious examination of mathematical practice. I argue that the non-sociological part of Field’s (...)
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  3. To bridge Gödel’s gap.Eileen S. Nutting - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2133-2150.
    In “Mathematical Truth,” Paul Benacerraf raises an epistemic challenge for mathematical platonists. In this paper, I examine the assumptions that motivate Benacerraf’s original challenge, and use them to construct a new causal challenge for the epistemology of mathematics. This new challenge, which I call ‘Gödel’s Gap’, appeals to intuitive insights into mathematical knowledge. Though it is a causal challenge, it does not rely on any obviously objectionable constraints on knowledge. As a result, it is more compelling than the original challenge. (...)
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    Ontological realism and sentential form.Eileen S. Nutting - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):5021-5036.
    The standard argument for the existence of distinctively mathematical objects like numbers has two main premises: some mathematical claims are true, and the truth of those claims requires the existence of distinctively mathematical objects. Most nominalists deny. Those who deny typically reject Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment. I target a different assumption in a standard type of semantic argument for. Benacerraf’s semantic argument, for example, relies on the claim that two sentences, one about numbers and the other about cities, have (...)
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  5.  51
    The Benacerraf Problem of Mathematical Truth and Knowledge.Eileen S. Nutting - 2022 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The Benacerraf Problem of Mathematical Truth and Knowledge Before philosophical theorizing, people tend to believe that most of the claims generally accepted in mathematics—claims like “2+3=5” and “there are infinitely many prime numbers”—are true, and that people know many of them. Even after philosophical theorizing, most people remain committed to mathematical truth and mathematical knowledge. … Continue reading The Benacerraf Problem of Mathematical Truth and Knowledge →.
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    The Limits of Reconstructive Neologicist Epistemology.Eileen S. Nutting - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (273):717-738.
    Wright claims that his and Hale’s abstractionist neologicist project is primarily epistemological in aim. Its epistemological aims include establishing the possibility of a priori mathematical knowledge, and establishing the possibility of reference to abstract mathematical objects. But, as Wright acknowledges, there is a question of how neologicist epistemology applies to actual, ordinary mathematical beliefs. I take up this question, focusing on arithmetic. Following a suggestion of Hale and Wright, I consider the possibility that the neologicist account provides an idealised reconstruction (...)
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