Epistemology of Mathematics

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  1. The Fundamental Cognitive Approaches of Mathematics.Salvador Daniel Escobedo Casillas - manuscript
    We propose a way to explain the diversification of branches of mathematics, distinguishing the different approaches by which mathematical objects can be studied. In our philosophy of mathematics, there is a base object, which is the abstract multiplicity that comes from our empirical experience. However, due to our human condition, the analysis of such multiplicity is covered by other empirical cognitive attitudes (approaches), diversifying the ways in which it can be conceived, and consequently giving rise to different mathematical disciplines. This (...)
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  2. Set-Theoretic Pluralism and the Benacerraf Problem.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):2013-2030.
    Set-theoretic pluralism is an increasingly influential position in the philosophy of set theory (Balaguer [1998], Linksy and Zalta [1995], Hamkins [2012]). There is considerable room for debate about how best to formulate set-theoretic pluralism, and even about whether the view is coherent. But there is widespread agreement as to what there is to recommend the view (given that it can be formulated coherently). Unlike set-theoretic universalism, set-theoretic pluralism affords an answer to Benacerraf’s epistemological challenge. The purpose of this paper is (...)
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  3. Ce este matematica: Ghidul şcolar al înţelegerii conceptuale a matematicii.Catalin Barboianu - 2020 - Targu Jiu: PhilScience Press.
    Aceasta nu este o carte de matematică, ci una despre matematică, care se adresează elevului sau studentului, dar şi dascălului său, cu un scop cât se poate de practic, anume acela de a iniţia şi netezi calea către înţelegerea completă a matematicii predate în şcoală. Tradiţia predării matematicii într-o abordare preponderent procedural-formală a avut ca efect o viziune deformată a elevilor asupra matematicii, ca fiind ceva strict formal, instrumental şi calculatoriu. Pierzând contactul cu baza conceptuală a matematicii, elevii dezvoltă pe (...)
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  4. Francesca Biagioli: Space, Number, and Geometry From Helmholtz to Cassirer: Springer, Dordrecht, 2016, 239 Pp, $109.99 , ISBN: 978-3-319-31777-9. [REVIEW]Lydia Patton - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (2):311-315.
    Francesca Biagioli’s Space, Number, and Geometry from Helmholtz to Cassirer is a substantial and pathbreaking contribution to the energetic and growing field of researchers delving into the physics, physiology, psychology, and mathematics of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book provides a bracing and painstakingly researched re-appreciation of the work of Hermann von Helmholtz and Ernst Cassirer, and of their place in the tradition, and is worth study for that alone. The contributions of the book go far beyond that, however. (...)
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  5. Forms of Structuralism: Bourbaki and the Philosophers.Jean-Pierre Marquis - forthcoming - In Alberto Peruzzi & Silvano Zipoli Caiani (eds.), Structures Meres, Semantics, Mathematics, and Cognitive Science. New York, NY, USA:
    In this paper, we argue that, contrary to the view held by most philosophers of mathematics, Bourbaki’s technical conception of mathematical structuralism is relevant to philosophy of mathematics. In fact, we believe that Bourbaki has captured the core of any mathematical structuralism.
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  6. What is Field's Epistemological Objection to Platonism?Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - In Robin Stenwall & Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (eds.), Maurinian Truths : Essays in Honour of Anna-Sofia Maurin on her 50th Birthday. pp. 123-133.
    This paper concerns an epistemological objection against mathematical platonism, due to Hartry Field.The argument poses an explanatory challenge – the challenge to explain the reliability of our mathematical beliefs – which the platonist, it’s argued, cannot meet. Is the objection compelling? Philosophers disagree, but they also disagree on (and are sometimes very unclear about) how the objection should be understood. Here I distinguish some options, and highlight some gaps that need to be filled in on the potentially most compelling version (...)
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  7. Mathematical Knowledge and Naturalism.Fabio Sterpetti - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (1):225-247.
    How should one conceive of the method of mathematics, if one takes a naturalist stance? Mathematical knowledge is regarded as the paradigm of certain knowledge, since mathematics is based on the axiomatic method. Natural science is deeply mathematized, and science is crucial for any naturalist perspective. But mathematics seems to provide a counterexample both to methodological and ontological naturalism. To face this problem, some naturalists try to naturalize mathematics relying on Darwinism. But several difficulties arise when one tries to naturalize (...)
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  8. Mathematician's Call for Interdisciplinary Research Effort.Catalin Barboianu - 2013 - International Gambling Studies 13 (3):430-433.
    The article addresses the necessity of increasing the role of mathematics in the psychological intervention in problem gambling, including cognitive therapies. It also calls for interdisciplinary research with the direct contribution of mathematics. The current contributions and limitations of the role of mathematics are analysed with an eye toward the professional profiles of the researchers. An enhanced collaboration between these two disciplines is suggested and predicted.
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  9. Circularities In The Contemporary Philosophical Accounts Of The Applicability Of Mathematics In The Physical Universe.Catalin Barboianu - 2015 - Revista de Filosofie 61 (5):517-542.
    Contemporary philosophical accounts of the applicability of mathematics in physical sciences and the empirical world are based on formalized relations between the mathematical structures and the physical systems they are supposed to represent within the models. Such relations were constructed both to ensure an adequate representation and to allow a justification of the validity of the mathematical models as means of scientific inference. This article puts in evidence the various circularities (logical, epistemic, and of definition) that are present in these (...)
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  10. The "Unreasonable" Effectiveness of Mathematics: The Foundational Approach of the Theoretic Alternatives.Catalin Barboianu - 2015 - Revista de Filosofie 62 (1):58-71.
    The attempts of theoretically solving the famous puzzle-dictum of physicist Eugene Wigner regarding the “unreasonable” effectiveness of mathematics as a problem of analytical philosophy, started at the end of the 19th century, are yet far from coming out with an acceptable theoretical solution. The theories developed for explaining the empirical “miracle” of applied mathematics vary in nature, foundation and solution, from denying the existence of a genuine problem to structural theories with an advanced level of mathematical formalism. Despite this variation, (...)
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  11. Filosofia Aplicabilitatii Matematicii: Intre Irational si Rational.Catalin Barboianu - 2018 - Târgu Jiu, Romania: Infarom.
    Lucrarea tratează unul dintre “misterele” filosofiei analitice şi ale raţionalităţii însăşi, anume aplicabilitatea matematicii în ştiinţe şi în investigarea matematică a realităţii înconjurătoare, a cărei filosofie este dezvoltată în jurul sintagmei – de acum paradigmatice – ‘eficacitatea iraţională a matematicii’, aparţinând fizicianului Eugene Wigner, problemă filosofică etichetată în literatură drept “puzzle-ul lui Wigner”. Odată intraţi în profunzimea acestei probleme, investigaţia nu trebuie limitată la căutarea unor răspunsuri explicative la întrebări precum “Ce este de fapt aplicabilitatea matematicii?”, “Cum explicăm prezenţa în (...)
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  12. Mathematical Models of Abstract Systems: Knowing Abstract Geometric Forms.Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2013 - Annales de la Faculté des Sciences de Toulouse 22 (5):969-1016.
    Scientists use models to know the world. It i susually assumed that mathematicians doing pure mathematics do not. Mathematicians doing pure mathematics prove theorems about mathematical entities like sets, numbers, geometric figures, spaces, etc., they compute various functions and solve equations. In this paper, I want to exhibit models build by mathematicians to study the fundamental components of spaces and, more generally, of mathematical forms. I focus on one area of mathematics where models occupy a central role, namely homotopy theory. (...)
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  13. The "Artificial Mathematician" Objection: Exploring the (Im)Possibility of Automating Mathematical Understanding.Sven Delarivière & Bart Van Kerkhove - 2017 - In B. Sriraman (ed.), Humanizing Mathematics and its Philosophy. Cham: Birkhäuser. pp. 173-198.
    Reuben Hersh confided to us that, about forty years ago, the late Paul Cohen predicted to him that at some unspecified point in the future, mathematicians would be replaced by computers. Rather than focus on computers replacing mathematicians, however, our aim is to consider the (im)possibility of human mathematicians being joined by “artificial mathematicians” in the proving practice—not just as a method of inquiry but as a fellow inquirer.
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  14. Mathematical Abstraction, Conceptual Variation and Identity.Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2014 - In Peter Schroeder-Heister, Gerhard Heinzmann, Wilfred Hodges & Pierre Edouard Bour (eds.), Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Proceedings of the 14th International Congress. London, UK: pp. 299-322.
    One of the key features of modern mathematics is the adoption of the abstract method. Our goal in this paper is to propose an explication of that method that is rooted in the history of the subject.
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  15. Mathematical Knowledge, the Analytic Method, and Naturalism.Fabio Sterpetti - 2018 - In Sorin Bangu (ed.), Naturalizing Logico-Mathematical Knowledge. Approaches from Philosophy, Psychology and Cognitive Science. New York, Stati Uniti: pp. 268-293.
    This chapter tries to answer the following question: How should we conceive of the method of mathematics, if we take a naturalist stance? The problem arises since mathematical knowledge is regarded as the paradigm of certain knowledge, because mathematics is based on the axiomatic method. Moreover, natural science is deeply mathematized, and science is crucial for any naturalist perspective. But mathematics seems to provide a counterexample both to methodological and ontological naturalism. To face this problem, some authors tried to naturalize (...)
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  16. (Probably) Not Companions in Guilt.Sharon Berry - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2285-2308.
    In this paper, I will attempt to develop and defend a common form of intuitive resistance to the companions in guilt argument. I will argue that one can reasonably believe there are promising solutions to the access problem for mathematical realism that don’t translate to moral realism. In particular, I will suggest that the structuralist project of accounting for mathematical knowledge in terms of some form of logical knowledge offers significant hope of success while no analogous approach offers such hope (...)
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  17. Stairway to Heaven: The Abstract Method and Levels of Abstraction in Mathematics.Jean Pierre Marquis & Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2016 - The Mathematical Intelligencer 38 (3):41-51.
    In this paper, following the claims made by various mathematicians, I try to construct a theory of levels of abstraction. I first try to clarify the basic components of the abstract method as it developed in the first quarter of the 20th century. I then submit an explication of the notion of levels of abstraction. In the final section, I briefly explore some of main philosophical consequences of the theory.
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  18. The Applicability of Mathematics to Physical Modality.Nora Berenstain - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3361-3377.
    This paper argues that scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between the mathematical entities that are indispensible to scientific explanation and the modal structure of the empirical phenomena those entities explain. The argument presupposes that scientific realism commits us to the indispensability argument. The viewpresented here is that the indispensability of mathematics commits us not only to the existence of mathematical structures and entities but to a metaphysical determination relation between those entities and the modal structure of (...)
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  19. Logicism, Interpretability, and Knowledge of Arithmetic.Sean Walsh - 2014 - Review of Symbolic Logic 7 (1):84-119.
    A crucial part of the contemporary interest in logicism in the philosophy of mathematics resides in its idea that arithmetical knowledge may be based on logical knowledge. Here an implementation of this idea is considered that holds that knowledge of arithmetical principles may be based on two things: (i) knowledge of logical principles and (ii) knowledge that the arithmetical principles are representable in the logical principles. The notions of representation considered here are related to theory-based and structure-based notions of representation (...)
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  20. The Epistemology of the Question of Authenticity, in Place of Strategic Essentialism.Emily S. Lee - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (2):258--279.
    The question of authenticity centers in the lives of women of color to invite and restrict their representative roles. For this reason, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Uma Narayan advocate responding with strategic essentialism. This paper argues against such a strategy and proposes an epistemic understanding of the question of authentic- ity. The question stems from a kernel of truth—the connection between experience and knowledge. But a coherence theory of knowledge better captures the sociality and the holism of experience and knowledge.
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  21. The Hardness of the Iconic Must: Can Peirce’s Existential Graphs Assist Modal Epistemology.C. Legg - 2012 - Philosophia Mathematica 20 (1):1-24.
    Charles Peirce's diagrammatic logic — the Existential Graphs — is presented as a tool for illuminating how we know necessity, in answer to Benacerraf's famous challenge that most ‘semantics for mathematics’ do not ‘fit an acceptable epistemology’. It is suggested that necessary reasoning is in essence a recognition that a certain structure has the particular structure that it has. This means that, contra Hume and his contemporary heirs, necessity is observable. One just needs to pay attention, not merely to individual (...)
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  22. Mathematical Metaphors in Natorp’s Neo-Kantian Epistemology and Philosophy of Science.Thomas Mormann - 2005 - In Falk Seeger, Johannes Lenard & Michael H. G. Hoffmann (eds.), Activity and Sign. Grounding Mathematical Education. Springer.
    A basic thesis of Neokantian epistemology and philosophy of science contends that the knowing subject and the object to be known are only abstractions. What really exists, is the relation between both. For the elucidation of this “knowledge relation ("Erkenntnisrelation") the Neokantians of the Marburg school used a variety of mathematical metaphors. In this con-tribution I reconsider some of these metaphors proposed by Paul Natorp, who was one of the leading members of the Marburg school. It is shown that Natorp's (...)
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  23. Is There a Good Epistemological Argument Against Platonism?David Liggins - 2006 - Analysis 66 (2):135–141.
    Platonism in the philosophy of mathematics is the doctrine that there are mathematical objects such as numbers. John Burgess and Gideon Rosen have argued that that there is no good epistemological argument against platonism. They propose a dilemma, claiming that epistemological arguments against platonism either rely on a dubious epistemology, or resemble a dubious sceptical argument concerning perceptual knowledge. Against Burgess and Rosen, I show that an epistemological anti- platonist argument proposed by Hartry Field avoids both horns of their dilemma.
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Apriority in Mathematics
  1. Mathematics - an Imagined Tool for Rational Cognition.Boris Culina - manuscript
    Analysing several characteristic mathematical models: natural and real numbers, Euclidean geometry, group theory, and set theory, I argue that a mathematical model in its final form is a junction of a set of axioms and an internal partial interpretation of the corresponding language. It follows from the analysis that (i) mathematical objects do not exist in the external world: they are our internally imagined objects, some of which, at least approximately, we can realize or represent; (ii) mathematical truths are not (...)
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  2. Apriority and Essential Truth.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2020 - Metaphysica 21 (1):1-8.
    There is a line of thought, neglected in recent philosophy, according to which a priori knowable truths such as those of logic and mathematics have their special epistemic status in virtue of a certain tight connection between their meaning and their truth. Historical associations notwithstanding, this view does not mandate any kind of problematic deflationism about meaning, modality or essence. On the contrary, we should be upfront about it being a highly debatable metaphysical idea, while nonetheless insisting that it be (...)
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  3. Last Bastion of Reason. [REVIEW]James Franklin - 2000 - New Criterion 18 (9):74-78.
    Attacks the irrationalism of Lakatos's Proofs and Refutations and defends mathematics as a "last bastion" of reason against postmodernist and deconstructionist currents.
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  4. The Origin of Europe and the Esprit de Geometrie.Francesco Tampoia - manuscript
    In searching for the origin of Europe and the cultural region/continent that we call “Europe”, at first glance we have to consider at least a double view: on the one hand the geographical understanding which indicates a region or a continent. On the other a certain form of identity and culture described and defined as European. Rodolphe Gasché taking hint from Husserl’s passage ‘Europe is not to be construed simply as a geographical and political entity’ states that a rigorous engagement (...)
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  5. Our Incorrigible Ontological Relations and Categories of Being.Julian M. Galvez Bunge (ed.) - 2017 - USA: Amazon.
    The purpose of this book is to address the controversial issues of whether we have a fixed set of ontological categories and if they have some epistemic value at all. Which are our ontological categories? What determines them? Do they play a role in cognition? If so, which? What do they force to presuppose regarding our world-view? If they constitute a limit to possible knowledge, up to what point is science possible? Does their study make of philosophy a science? Departing (...)
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  6. Knowledge of Abstract Objects in Physics and Mathematics.Michael Shaffer - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (4):397-409.
    In this paper a parallel is drawn between the problem of epistemic access to abstract objects in mathematics and the problem of epistemic access to idealized systems in the physical sciences. On this basis it is argued that some recent and more traditional approaches to solving these problems are problematic.
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  7. The Modal Status of Contextually A Priori Arithmetical Truths.Markus Pantsar - 2016 - In Andrea Sereni & Francesca Boccuni (eds.), Objectivity, Realism, and Proof. Springer International Publishing. pp. 67-79.
    In Pantsar (2014), an outline for an empirically feasible epistemological theory of arithmetic is presented. According to that theory, arithmetical knowledge is based on biological primitives but in the resulting empirical context develops an essentially a priori character. Such contextual a priori theory of arithmetical knowledge can explain two of the three characteristics that are usually associated with mathematical knowledge: that it appears to be a priori and objective. In this paper it is argued that it can also explain the (...)
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  8. Russell on Logicism and Coherence.Conor Mayo-Wilson - 2011 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 31 (1):89-106.
    According to Quine, Charles Parsons, Mark Steiner, and others, Russell's logicist project is important because, if successful, it would show that mathematical theorems possess desirable epistemic properties often attributed to logical theorems, such as a prioricity, necessity, and certainty. Unfortunately, Russell never attributed such importance to logicism, and such a thesis contradicts Russell's explicitly stated views on the relationship between logic and mathematics. This raises the question: what did Russell understand to be the philosophical importance of logicism? Building on recent (...)
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  9. Review of C. S. Jenkins, Grounding Concepts: An Empirical Basis for Arithmetical Knowledge[REVIEW]Neil Tennant - 2010 - Philosophia Mathematica 18 (3):360-367.
    This book is written so as to be ‘accessible to philosophers without a mathematical background’. The reviewer can assure the reader that this aim is achieved, even if only by focusing throughout on just one example of an arithmetical truth, namely ‘7+5=12’. This example’s familiarity will be reassuring; but its loneliness in this regard will not. Quantified propositions — even propositions of Goldbach type — are below the author’s radar.The author offers ‘a new kind of arithmetical epistemology’, one which ‘respects (...)
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  10. Review of The Art of the Infinite by R. Kaplan, E. Kaplan 324p(2003).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century: Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization-- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 2nd Edition Feb 2018. Michael Starks. pp. 619.
    This book tries to present math to the millions and does a pretty good job. It is simple and sometimes witty but often the literary allusions intrude and the text bogs down in pages of relentless math--lovely if you like it and horrid if you don´t. If you already know alot of math you will still probably find the discussions of general math, geometry, projective geometry, and infinite series to be a nice refresher. If you don´t know any and don´t (...)
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  11. Lakatos’ Quasi-Empiricism in the Philosophy of Mathematics.Michael J. Shaffer - 2015 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):71-80.
    Imre Lakatos' views on the philosophy of mathematics are important and they have often been underappreciated. The most obvious lacuna in this respect is the lack of detailed discussion and analysis of his 1976a paper and its implications for the methodology of mathematics, particularly its implications with respect to argumentation and the matter of how truths are established in mathematics. The most important themes that run through his work on the philosophy of mathematics and which culminate in the 1976a paper (...)
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  12. The Formal Sciences Discover the Philosophers' Stone.James Franklin - 1994 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (4):513-533.
    The formal sciences - mathematical as opposed to natural sciences, such as operations research, statistics, theoretical computer science, systems engineering - appear to have achieved mathematically provable knowledge directly about the real world. It is argued that this appearance is correct.
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  13. Against Mathematical Convenientism.Seungbae Park - 2016 - Axiomathes 26 (2):115-122.
    Indispensablists argue that when our belief system conflicts with our experiences, we can negate a mathematical belief but we do not because if we do, we would have to make an excessive revision of our belief system. Thus, we retain a mathematical belief not because we have good evidence for it but because it is convenient to do so. I call this view ‘ mathematical convenientism.’ I argue that mathematical convenientism commits the consequential fallacy and that it demolishes the Quine-Putnam (...)
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  14. Closure of A Priori Knowability Under A Priori Knowable Material Implication.Jan Heylen - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (2):359-380.
    The topic of this article is the closure of a priori knowability under a priori knowable material implication: if a material conditional is a priori knowable and if the antecedent is a priori knowable, then the consequent is a priori knowable as well. This principle is arguably correct under certain conditions, but there is at least one counterexample when completely unrestricted. To deal with this, Anderson proposes to restrict the closure principle to necessary truths and Horsten suggests to restrict it (...)
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  15. Review of Space, Time, and Number in the Brain. [REVIEW]Carlos Montemayor & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2015 - Mathematical Intelligencer 37 (2):93-98.
    Albert Einstein once made the following remark about "the world of our sense experiences": "the fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle." (1936, p. 351) A few decades later, another physicist, Eugene Wigner, wondered about the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences, concluding his classic article thus: "the miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve" (1960, p. 14). (...)
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  16. Bolzano Versus Kant: Mathematics as a Scientia Universalis.Paola Cantù - 2011 - Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Kevin Mulligan.
    The paper discusses some changes in Bolzano's definition of mathematics attested in several quotations from the Beyträge, Wissenschaftslehre and Grössenlehre: is mathematics a theory of forms or a theory of quantities? Several issues that are maintained throughout Bolzano's works are distinguished from others that were accepted in the Beyträge and abandoned in the Grössenlehre. Changes are interpreted as a consequence of the new logical theory of truth introduced in the Wissenschaftslehre, but also as a consequence of the overcome of Kant's (...)
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  17. Justified Concepts and the Limits of the Conceptual Approach to the A Priori.Darren Bradley - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (3):267-274.
    Carrie Jenkins (2005, 2008) has developed a theory of the a priori that she claims solves the problem of how justification regarding our concepts can give us justification regarding the world. She claims that concepts themselves can be justified, and that beliefs formed by examining such concepts can be justified a priori. I object that we can have a priori justified beliefs with unjustified concepts if those beliefs have no existential import. I then argue that only beliefs without existential import (...)
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  18. Commentary: The Timing of Brain Events.Benjamin Libet - 2006 - Consciusness and Cognition 15:540--547.
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  19. What is the Benacerraf Problem?Justin Clarke-Doane - 2017 - In Fabrice Pataut (ed.), New Perspectives on the Philosophy of Paul Benacerraf: Truth, Objects, Infinity. Springer Verlag.
    In "Mathematical Truth", Paul Benacerraf articulated an epistemological problem for mathematical realism. His formulation of the problem relied on a causal theory of knowledge which is now widely rejected. But it is generally agreed that Benacerraf was onto a genuine problem for mathematical realism nevertheless. Hartry Field describes it as the problem of explaining the reliability of our mathematical beliefs, realistically construed. In this paper, I argue that the Benacerraf Problem cannot be made out. There simply is no intelligible problem (...)
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  20. Grassmann’s Epistemology: Multiplication and Constructivism.Paola Cantù - 2010 - In Hans-Joachim Petsche (ed.), From Past to Future: Graßmann's Work in Context.
    The paper aims to establish if Grassmann’s notion of an extensive form involved an epistemological change in the understanding of geometry and of mathematical knowledge. Firstly, it will examine if an ontological shift in geometry is determined by the vectorial representation of extended magnitudes. Giving up homogeneity, and considering geometry as an application of extension theory, Grassmann developed a different notion of a geometrical object, based on abstract constraints concerning the construction of forms rather than on the homogeneity conditions required (...)
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  21. The Paradox of Infinite Given Magnitude: Why Kantian Epistemology Needs Metaphysical Space.Lydia Patton - 2011 - Kant-Studien 102 (3):273-289.
    Kant's account of space as an infinite given magnitude in the Critique of Pure Reason is paradoxical, since infinite magnitudes go beyond the limits of possible experience. Michael Friedman's and Charles Parsons's accounts make sense of geometrical construction, but I argue that they do not resolve the paradox. I argue that metaphysical space is based on the ability of the subject to generate distinctly oriented spatial magnitudes of invariant scalar quantity through translation or rotation. The set of determinately oriented, constructed (...)
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  22. Descriptions and Unknowability.Jan Heylen - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):50-52.
    In a recent paper Horsten embarked on a journey along the limits of the domain of the unknowable. Rather than knowability simpliciter, he considered a priori knowability, and by the latter he meant absolute provability, i.e. provability that is not relativized to a formal system. He presented an argument for the conclusion that it is not absolutely provable that there is a natural number of which it is true but absolutely unprovable that it has a certain property. The argument depends (...)
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  23. On the Parallel Between Mathematics and Morals.James Franklin - 2004 - Philosophy 79 (1):97-119.
    The imperviousness of mathematical truth to anti-objectivist attacks has always heartened those who defend objectivism in other areas, such as ethics. It is argued that the parallel between mathematics and ethics is close and does support objectivist theories of ethics. The parallel depends on the foundational role of equality in both disciplines. Despite obvious differences in their subject matter, mathematics and ethics share a status as pure forms of knowledge, distinct from empirical sciences. A pure understanding of principles is possible (...)
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Mathematics and the Causal Theory of Knowledge
  1. Justification and Explanation in Mathematics and Morality.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 10.
    In his influential book, The Nature of Morality, Gilbert Harman writes: “In explaining the observations that support a physical theory, scientists typically appeal to mathematical principles. On the other hand, one never seems to need to appeal in this way to moral principles.” What is the epistemological relevance of this contrast, if genuine? This chapter argues that ethicists and philosophers of mathematics have misunderstood it. They have confused what the chapter calls the justificatory challenge for realism about an area, D—the (...)
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  2. Deflationary Nominalism and Puzzle Avoidance.David Mark Kovacs - 2019 - Philosophia Mathematica 27 (1):88-104.
    In a series of works, Jody Azzouni has defended deflationary nominalism, the view that certain sentences quantifying over mathematical objects are literally true, although such objects do not exist. One alleged attraction of this view is that it avoids various philosophical puzzles about mathematical objects. I argue that this thought is misguided. I first develop an ontologically neutral counterpart of Field’s reliability challenge and argue that deflationary nominalism offers no distinctive answer to it. I then show how this reasoning generalizes (...)
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  3. Coincidence Avoidance and Formulating the Access Problem.Sharon Berry - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
    In this article, I discuss a trivialization worry for Hartry Field’s official formulation of the access problem for mathematical realists, which was pointed out by Øystein Linnebo (and has recently been made much of by Justin Clarke-Doane). I argue that various attempted reformulations of the Benacerraf problem fail to block trivialization, but that access worriers can better defend themselves by sticking closer to Hartry Field’s initial informal characterization of the access problem in terms of (something like) general epistemic norms of (...)
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  4. Rejecting Mathematical Realism While Accepting Interactive Realism.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Analysis and Metaphysics 17:7-21.
    Indispensablists contend that accepting scientific realism while rejecting mathematical realism involves a double standard. I refute this contention by developing an enhanced version of scientific realism, which I call interactive realism. It holds that interactively successful theories are typically approximately true, and that the interactive unobservable entities posited by them are likely to exist. It is immune to the pessimistic induction while mathematical realism is susceptible to it.
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