A Lewisian Argument Against Platonism, or Why Theses About Abstract Objects Are Unintelligible

Erkenntnis 88 (7):3037–3057 (2023)
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In this paper, I argue that all expressions for abstract objects are meaningless. My argument closely follows David Lewis’ argument against the intelligibility of certain theories of possible worlds, but modifies it in order to yield a general conclusion about language pertaining to abstract objects. If my Lewisian argument is sound, not only can we not know that abstract objects exist, we cannot even refer to or think about them. However, while the Lewisian argument strongly motivates nominalism, it also undermines certain nominalist theories.

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Jack Himelright
Kansas State University


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