# Can Mathematical Objects Be Causally Efficacious?

*Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy*63 (3):247–255 (2019)

**Abstract**

Callard (2007) argues that it is metaphysically possible that a mathematical object, although abstract, causally affects the brain. I raise the following objections. First, a successful defence of mathematical realism requires not merely the metaphysical possibility but rather the actuality that a mathematical object affects the brain. Second, mathematical realists need to confront a set of three pertinent issues: why a mathematical object does not affect other concrete objects and other mathematical objects, what counts as a mathematical object, and how we can have knowledge about an unchanging object.

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2018, 2019

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PARCMO-4

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References found in this work BETA

Mathematical Truth.Benacerraf, Paul

Mathematics and Reality.Leng, Mary

Nominalism, Naturalism, Epistemic Relativism.Rosen, Gideon

Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik. Eine logisch mathematische Untersuchung über den Begriff der Zahl.Frege, Gottlob

Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics.Balaguer, Mark

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Citations of this work BETA

Can Math Move Matter?Callard, Benjamin

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2017-11-01

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