Citations of:
Add citations
You must login to add citations.


This paper discusses the relevance of supertask computation for the determinacy of arithmetic. Recent work in the philosophy of physics has made plausible the possibility of supertask computers, capable of running through infinitely many individual computations in a finite time. A natural thought is that, if supertask computers are possible, this implies that arithmetical truth is determinate. In this paper we argue, via a careful analysis of putative arguments from supertask computations to determinacy, that this natural thought is mistaken: supertasks (...) 

This article offers an overview of inferential role semantics. We aim to provide a map of the terrain as well as challenging some of the inferentialist’s standard commitments. We begin by introducing inferentialism and placing it into the wider context of contemporary philosophy of language. §2 focuses on what is standardly considered both the most important test case for and the most natural application of inferential role semantics: the case of the logical constants. We discuss some of the (alleged) benefits (...) 

Tarski's Undefinability of Truth Theorem comes in two versions: that no consistent theory which interprets Robinson's Arithmetic (Q) can prove all instances of the TScheme and hence define truth; and that no such theory, if sound, can even express truth. In this note, I prove corresponding limitative results for validity. While Peano Arithmetic already has the resources to define a predicate expressing logical validity, as Jeff Ketland has recently pointed out (2012, Validity as a primitive. Analysis 72: 42130), no theory (...) 

According to the received view, formalism – interpreted as the thesis that mathematical truth does not outrun the consequences of our maximal mathematical theory – has been refuted by Goedel's theorem. In support of this claim, proponents of the received view usually invoke an informal argument for the truth of the Goedel sentence, an argument which is supposed to reconstruct our reasoning in seeing its truth. Against this, Field has argued in a series of papers that the principles involved in (...) 

This article surveys recent literature by Parsons, McGee, Shapiro and others on the significance of categoricity arguments in the philosophy of mathematics. After discussing whether categoricity arguments are sufficient to secure reference to mathematical structures up to isomorphism, we assess what exactly is achieved by recent ‘internal’ renditions of the famous categoricity arguments for arithmetic and set theory. 

In this paper, we describe "metaphysical reductions", in which the welldefined terms and predicates of arbitrary mathematical theories are uniquely interpreted within an axiomatic, metaphysical theory of abstract objects. Once certain (constitutive) facts about a mathematical theory T have been added to the metaphysical theory of objects, theorems of the metaphysical theory yield both an analysis of the reference of the terms and predicates of T and an analysis of the truth of the sentences of T. The welldefined terms and (...) 

It is commonly held that the natural numbers sequence 0, 1, 2,... possesses a unique structure. Yet by a well known model theoretic argument, there exist nonstandard models of the formal theory which is generally taken to axiomatize all of our practices and intentions pertaining to use of the term “natural number.” Despite the structural similarity of this argument to the influential set theoretic indeterminacy argument based on the downward L ̈owenheimSkolem theorem, most theorists agree that the number theoretic version (...) 

In 1999, Jeffrey Ketland published a paper which posed a series of technical problems for deflationary theories of truth. Ketland argued that deflationism is incompatible with standard mathematical formalizations of truth, and he claimed that alternate deflationary formalizations are unable to explain some central uses of the truth predicate in mathematics. He also used Beth’s definability theorem to argue that, contrary to deflationists’ claims, the Tschema cannot provide an ‘implicit definition’ of truth. In this article, I want to challenge this (...) 

The view that mathematical objects are indefinite in nature is presented and defended, hi the first section, Field's argument for fictionalism, given in response to Benacerraf's problem of identification, is closely examined, and it is contended that platonists can solve the problem equally well if they take the view that mathematical objects are indefinite. In the second section, two general arguments against the intelligibility of objectual indefiniteness are shown erroneous, hi the final section, the view is compared to mathematical structuralism, (...) 

We investigate the form of mathematical structuralism that acknowledges the existence of structures and their distinctive structural elements. This form of structuralism has been subject to criticisms recently, and our view is that the problems raised are resolved by proper, mathematicsfree theoretical foundations. Starting with an axiomatic theory of abstract objects, we identify a mathematical structure as an abstract object encoding the truths of a mathematical theory. From such foundations, we derive consequences that address the main questions and issues that (...) 

Secondorder axiomatizations of certain important mathematical theories—such as arithmetic and real analysis—can be shown to be categorical. Categoricity implies semantic completeness, and semantic completeness in turn implies determinacy of truthvalue. Secondorder axiomatizations are thus appealing to realists as they sometimes seem to offer support for the realist thesis that mathematical statements have determinate truthvalues. The status of secondorder logic is a controversial issue, however. Worries about ontological commitment have been influential in the debate. Recently, Vann McGee has argued that one (...) 

Hilary Putnam’s BIV argument first occurred to him when ‘thinking about a theorem in modern logic, the “Skolem–Löwenheim Theorem”’ (Putnam 1981: 7). One of my aims in this paper is to explore the connection between the argument and the Theorem. But I also want to draw some further connections. In particular, I think that Putnam’s BIV argument provides us with an impressively versatile template for dealing with sceptical challenges. Indeed, this template allows us to unify some of Putnam’s most enduring (...) 

This paper investigates the determinacy of mathematics. We begin by clarifying how we are understanding the notion of determinacy before turning to the questions of whether and how famous independence results bear on issues of determinacy in mathematics. From there, we pose a metasemantic challenge for those who believe that mathematical language is determinate, motivate two important constraints on attempts to meet our challenge, and then use these constraints to develop an argument against determinacy and discuss a particularly popular approach (...) 

Hartry Field has recently examined the question whether our logical and mathematical concepts are referentially indeterminate. In his view, (1) certain logical notions, such as secondorder quantification, are indeterminate, but (2) important mathematical notions, such as the notion of finiteness, are not (they are determinate). In this paper, I assess Field's analysis, and argue that claims (1) and (2) turn out to be inconsistent. After all, given that the notion of finiteness can only be adequately characterized in pure secondorder logic, (...) 

. Remarkably, despite the tremendous success of axiomatic settheory in mathematics, logic and metamathematics, e.g., modeltheory, two philosophical worries about axiomatic settheory as the adequate catch of the setconcept keep haunting it. Having dealt with one worry in a previous paper in this journal, we now fulfil a promise made there, namely to deal with the second worry. The second worry is the Skolem Paradox and its ensuing Skolemite skepticism. We present a comparatively novel and simple analysis of the argument (...) 