Historicity, Value and Mathematics

In A. T. Tymieniecka (ed.), Analecta Husserliana, vol. 4. Dordrecht: Reidel. pp. 219-239 (1975)
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At the beginning of the present century, a series of paradoxes were discovered within mathematics which suggested a fundamental unclarity in traditional mathemati­cal methods. These methods rested on the assumption of a realm of mathematical idealities existing independently of our thinking activity, and in order to arrive at a firmly grounded mathematics different attempts were made to formulate a conception of mathematical objects as purely human constructions. It was, however, realised that such formulations necessarily result in a mathematics which lacks the richness and power of the old ‘platonistic’ methods, and the latter are still defended, in various modified forms, as embodying truths about self-existent mathematical entities. Thus there is an idealism-realism dispute in the philosophy of mathematics in some respects parallel to the controversy over the existence of the experiential world to the settle­ment of which lngarden devoted his life. The present paper is an attempt to apply Ingarden’s methods to the sphere of mathematical existence. This exercise will reveal new modes of being applicable to non-real objects, and we shall put forward arguments to suggest that these modes of being have an importance outside mathematics, especially in the areas of value theory and the ontology of art
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