Can Mathematical Objects Be Causally Efficacious?

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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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First archival date: 2017-11-01
Latest version: 3 (2018-02-09)
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2017-11-01

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