A Critique of Meillassoux’s Reflections on Mathematics From the Perspective of Bunge’s Philosophy

Mεtascience: Scientific General Discourse 1:115-133 (2020)
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Abstract

Quentin Meillassoux is one of the leading French philosophers of today. His first book, Après la finitude : Essai sur la nécessité de la contingence, (2006, translated into English in 2008), has already become a cult classic. It features a préface by his former mentor, Alain Badiou. One of Meillassoux’s main goals is to rehabilitate the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, typical of pre-Kantian philosophies. Specifically, he claims that mathematics is capable of disclosing the primary qualities of any object : “all those aspects of the object that can be formulated in mathematical terms can be meaningfully conceived as properties of the object in itself”. Here we will use Bunge’s philosophy of mathematics in order to challenge the preceding assumption.

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