Results for 'Benacerraf'

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  1. What is the Benacerraf Problem?Justin Clarke-Doane - 2017 - In Fabrice Pataut (ed.), New Perspectives on the Philosophy of Paul Benacerraf: Truth, Objects, Infinity. Springer Verlag.
    In "Mathematical Truth", Paul Benacerraf articulated an epistemological problem for mathematical realism. His formulation of the problem relied on a causal theory of knowledge which is now widely rejected. But it is generally agreed that Benacerraf was onto a genuine problem for mathematical realism nevertheless. Hartry Field describes it as the problem of explaining the reliability of our mathematical beliefs, realistically construed. In this paper, I argue that the Benacerraf Problem cannot be made out. There simply is (...)
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  2.  69
    The Propositional Benacerraf Problem.Jesse Fitts - forthcoming - In Chris Tillman (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge:
    Writers in the propositions literature consider the Benacerraf objection serious, often decisive. The objection figures heavily in dismissing standard theories of propositions of the past, notably set-theoretic theories. I argue that the situation is more complicated. After explicating the propositional Benacerraf problem, I focus on a classic set-theoretic theory of propositions, the possible worlds theory, and argue that methodological considerations influence the objection’s success.
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  3. Set-Theoretic Pluralism and the Benacerraf Problem.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):2013-2030.
    Set-theoretic pluralism is an increasingly influential position in the philosophy of set theory (Balaguer [1998], Linksy and Zalta [1995], Hamkins [2012]). There is considerable room for debate about how best to formulate set-theoretic pluralism, and even about whether the view is coherent. But there is widespread agreement as to what there is to recommend the view (given that it can be formulated coherently). Unlike set-theoretic universalism, set-theoretic pluralism affords an answer to Benacerraf’s epistemological challenge. The purpose of this paper (...)
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  4. Old Wine in New Bottles: Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and the Benacerraf–Field Challenge.Michael Klenk - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (4):781-795.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments purport to show that robust moral realism, the metaethical view that there are non-natural and mind-independent moral properties and facts that we can know about, is incompatible with evolutionary explanations of morality. One of the most prominent evolutionary debunking arguments is advanced by Sharon Street, who argues that if moral realism were true, then objective moral knowledge is unlikely because realist moral properties are evolutionary irrelevant and moral beliefs about those properties would not be selected for. However, (...)
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  5. Speaks's Reduction of Propositions to Properties: A Benacerraf Problem.T. Scott Dixon & Cody Gilmore - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):275-284.
    Speaks defends the view that propositions are properties: for example, the proposition that grass is green is the property being such that grass is green. We argue that there is no reason to prefer Speaks's theory to analogous but competing theories that identify propositions with, say, 2-adic relations. This style of argument has recently been deployed by many, including Moore and King, against the view that propositions are n-tuples, and by Caplan and Tillman against King's view that propositions are facts (...)
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  6. A Cognitive Approach to Benacerraf's Dilemma.Luke Jerzykiewicz - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
    One of the important challenges in the philosophy of mathematics is to account for the semantics of sentences that express mathematical propositions while simultaneously explaining our access to their contents. This is Benacerraf’s Dilemma. In this dissertation, I argue that cognitive science furnishes new tools by means of which we can make progress on this problem. The foundation of the solution, I argue, must be an ontologically realist, albeit non-platonist, conception of mathematical reality. The semantic portion of the problem (...)
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  7.  59
    Realism, Reliability, and Epistemic Possibility: On Modally Interpreting the Benacerraf–Field Challenge.Brett Topey - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    A Benacerraf–Field challenge is an argument intended to show that common realist theories of a given domain are untenable: such theories make it impossible to explain how we’ve arrived at the truth in that domain, and insofar as a theory makes our reliability in a domain inexplicable, we must either reject that theory or give up the relevant beliefs. But there’s no consensus about what would count here as a satisfactory explanation of our reliability. It’s sometimes suggested that giving (...)
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  8. Our Reliability is in Principle Explainable.Dan Baras - 2017 - Episteme 14 (2):197-211.
    Non-skeptical robust realists about normativity, mathematics, or any other domain of non- causal truths are committed to a correlation between their beliefs and non- causal, mind-independent facts. Hartry Field and others have argued that if realists cannot explain this striking correlation, that is a strong reason to reject their theory. Some consider this argument, known as the Benacerraf–Field argument, as the strongest challenge to robust realism about mathematics, normativity, and even logic. In this article I offer two closely related (...)
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  9. The Hardness of the Iconic Must: Can Peirce’s Existential Graphs Assist Modal Epistemology.C. Legg - 2012 - Philosophia Mathematica 20 (1):1-24.
    Charles Peirce's diagrammatic logic — the Existential Graphs — is presented as a tool for illuminating how we know necessity, in answer to Benacerraf's famous challenge that most ‘semantics for mathematics’ do not ‘fit an acceptable epistemology’. It is suggested that necessary reasoning is in essence a recognition that a certain structure has the particular structure that it has. This means that, contra Hume and his contemporary heirs, necessity is observable. One just needs to pay attention, not merely to (...)
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  10. Debunking and Dispensability.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
    In his précis of a recent book, Richard Joyce writes, “My contention…is that…any epistemological benefit-of-the-doubt that might have been extended to moral beliefs…will be neutralized by the availability of an empirically confirmed moral genealogy that nowhere…presupposes their truth.” Such reasoning – falling under the heading “Genealogical Debunking Arguments” – is now commonplace. But how might “the availability of an empirically confirmed moral genealogy that nowhere… presupposes” the truth of our moral beliefs “neutralize” whatever “epistemological benefit-of-the-doubt that might have been extended (...)
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  11. The Story About Propositions.Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge - 2012 - Noûs 46 (4):635-674.
    It is our contention that an ontological commitment to propositions faces a number of problems; so many, in fact, that an attitude of realism towards propositions—understood the usual “platonistic” way, as a kind of mind- and language-independent abstract entity—is ultimately untenable. The particular worries about propositions that marshal parallel problems that Paul Benacerraf has raised for mathematical platonists. At the same time, the utility of “proposition-talk”—indeed, the apparent linguistic commitment evident in our use of 'that'-clauses (in offering explanations and (...)
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  12. Giving Up on “the Rest of the Language".Adam C. Podlaskowski - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (3):293-304.
    In this essay, the tension that Benacerraf identifies for theories of mathematical truth is used as the vehicle for arguing against a particular desideratum for semantic theories. More specifically, I place in question the desideratum that a semantic theory, provided for some area of discourse, should run in parallel with the semantic theory holding for the rest of the language. The importance of this desideratum is also made clear by means of tracing out the subtle implications of its rejection.
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  13. Arbitrary Reference, Numbers, and Propositions.Michele Palmira - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):1069-1085.
    Reductionist realist accounts of certain entities, such as the natural numbers and propositions, have been taken to be fatally undermined by what we may call the problem of arbitrary identification. The problem is that there are multiple and equally adequate reductions of the natural numbers to sets (see Benacerraf, 1965), as well as of propositions to unstructured or structured entities (see, e.g., Bealer, 1998; King, Soames, & Speaks, 2014; Melia, 1992). This paper sets out to solve the problem by (...)
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  14. Realism, Objectivity, and Evaluation.Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - In David Kaspar (ed.), Explorations in Ethics.
    I discuss Benacerraf's epistemological challenge for realism about areas like mathematics, metalogic, and modality, and describe the pluralist response to it. I explain why normative pluralism is peculiarly unsatisfactory, and use this explanation to formulate a radicalization of Moore's Open Question Argument. According to the argument, the facts -- even the normative facts -- fail to settle the practical questions at the center of our normative lives. One lesson is that the concepts of realism and objectivity, which are widely (...)
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  15. Explaining Our Moral Reliability.Sinan Dogramaci - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):71-86.
    I critically examine an evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism. The key premise of the argument is that there is no adequate explanation of our moral reliability. I search for the strongest version of the argument; this involves exploring how ‘adequate explanation’ could be understood such that the key premise comes out true. Finally, I give a reductio: in the sense in which there is no adequate explanation of our moral reliability, there is equally no adequate explanation of our inductive (...)
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  16. Mathematical Realism and Conceptual Semantics.Luke Jerzykiewicz - 2012 - In Oleg Prosorov & Vladimir Orevkov (eds.), Philosophy, Mathematics, Linguistics: Aspects of Interaction. Euler International Mathematical Institute.
    The dominant approach to analyzing the meaning of natural language sentences that express mathematical knowl- edge relies on a referential, formal semantics. Below, I discuss an argument against this approach and in favour of an internalist, conceptual, intensional alternative. The proposed shift in analytic method offers several benefits, including a novel perspective on what is required to track mathematical content, and hence on the Benacerraf dilemma. The new perspective also promises to facilitate discussion between philosophers of mathematics and cognitive (...)
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  17. Justification and Explanation in Mathematics and Morality.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 10.
    In his influential book, The Nature of Morality, Gilbert Harman writes: “In explaining the observations that support a physical theory, scientists typically appeal to mathematical principles. On the other hand, one never seems to need to appeal in this way to moral principles.” What is the epistemological relevance of this contrast, if genuine? This chapter argues that ethicists and philosophers of mathematics have misunderstood it. They have confused what the chapter calls the justificatory challenge for realism about an area, D—the (...)
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  18. (Probably) Not Companions in Guilt.Sharon Berry - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2285-2308.
    In this paper, I will attempt to develop and defend a common form of intuitive resistance to the companions in guilt argument. I will argue that one can reasonably believe there are promising solutions to the access problem for mathematical realism that don’t translate to moral realism. In particular, I will suggest that the structuralist project of accounting for mathematical knowledge in terms of some form of logical knowledge offers significant hope of success while no analogous approach offers such hope (...)
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  19. A Solution to Frege's Puzzle.George Bealer - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:17-60.
    This paper provides a new approach to a family of outstanding logical and semantical puzzles, the most famous being Frege's puzzle. The three main reductionist theories of propositions (the possible-worlds theory, the propositional-function theory, the propositional-complex theory) are shown to be vulnerable to Benacerraf-style problems, difficulties involving modality, and other problems. The nonreductionist algebraic theory avoids these problems and allows us to identify the elusive nondescriptive, non-metalinguistic, necessary propositions responsible for the indicated family of puzzles. The algebraic approach is (...)
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  20. A Theory of Concepts and Concepts Possession.George Bealer - 1998 - Philosophical Issues 9:261-301.
    The paper begins with an argument against eliminativism with respect to the propositional attitudes. There follows an argument that concepts are sui generis ante rem entities. A nonreductionist view of concepts and propositions is then sketched. This provides the background for a theory of concept possession, which forms the bulk of the paper. The central idea is that concept possession is to be analyzed in terms of a certain kind of pattern of reliability in one’s intuitions regarding the behavior of (...)
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  21. Coincidence Avoidance and Formulating the Access Problem.Sharon Berry - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
    In this article, I discuss a trivialization worry for Hartry Field’s official formulation of the access problem for mathematical realists, which was pointed out by Øystein Linnebo (and has recently been made much of by Justin Clarke-Doane). I argue that various attempted reformulations of the Benacerraf problem fail to block trivialization, but that access worriers can better defend themselves by sticking closer to Hartry Field’s initial informal characterization of the access problem in terms of (something like) general epistemic norms (...)
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  22.  96
    Modal Structuralism Simplified.Sharon Berry - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):200-222.
    Since Benacerraf’s ‘What Numbers Could Not Be, ’ there has been a growing interest in mathematical structuralism. An influential form of mathematical structuralism, modal structuralism, uses logical possibility and second order logic to provide paraphrases of mathematical statements which don’t quantify over mathematical objects. These modal structuralist paraphrases are a useful tool for nominalists and realists alike. But their use of second order logic and quantification into the logical possibility operator raises concerns. In this paper, I show that the (...)
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  23. An Integrative Design? How Liberalised Modal Empiricism Fails the Integration Challenge.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    The idea that justified modal belief can be accounted for in terms of empirically justified, non-modal belief is enjoying increasing popularity in the epistemology of modality. One alleged reason to prefer modal empiricism over more traditional, rationalist modal epistemologies is that empiricism avoids the problem with the integration challenge that arise for rationalism, assuming that we want to be realists about modal metaphysics. In this paper, I argue that given two very reasonable constraints on what it means to meet the (...)
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  24. Why Do Certain States of Affairs Call Out for Explanation? A Critique of Two Horwichian Accounts.Dan Baras - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (5):1405-1419.
    Motivated by examples, many philosophers believe that there is a significant distinction between states of affairs that are striking and therefore call for explanation and states of affairs that are not striking. This idea underlies several influential debates in metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, normative theory, philosophy of modality, and philosophy of science but is not fully elaborated or explored. This paper aims to address this lack of clear explanation first by clarifying the epistemological issue at hand. Then it introduces an (...)
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  25. Structuralism and Its Ontology.Marc Gasser - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2:1-26.
    A prominent version of mathematical structuralism holds that mathematical objects are at bottom nothing but "positions in structures," purely relational entities without any sort of nature independent of the structure to which they belong. Such an ontology is often presented as a response to Benacerraf's "multiple reductions" problem, or motivated on hermeneutic grounds, as a faithful representation of the discourse and practice of mathematics. In this paper I argue that there are serious difficulties with this kind of view: its (...)
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  26. On the Possibilities of Hypercomputing Supertasks.Vincent C. Müller - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (1):83-96.
    This paper investigates the view that digital hypercomputing is a good reason for rejection or re-interpretation of the Church-Turing thesis. After suggestion that such re-interpretation is historically problematic and often involves attack on a straw man (the ‘maximality thesis’), it discusses proposals for digital hypercomputing with Zeno-machines , i.e. computing machines that compute an infinite number of computing steps in finite time, thus performing supertasks. It argues that effective computing with Zeno-machines falls into a dilemma: either they are specified such (...)
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  27. If There Were No Numbers, What Would You Think?Thomas Mark Eden Donaldson - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):283-287.
    Hartry Field has argued that mathematical realism is epistemologically problematic, because the realist is unable to explain the supposed reliability of our mathematical beliefs. In some of his discussions of this point, Field backs up his argument by saying that our purely mathematical beliefs do not ‘counterfactually depend on the facts’. I argue that counterfactual dependence is irrelevant in this context; it does nothing to bolster Field's argument.
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  28. Higher-Order Defeat in Realist Moral Epistemology.Brian C. Barnett - 2020 - In Michael Klenk (ed.), Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. New York: pp. 117-135.
    On an optimistic version of realist moral epistemology, a significant range of ordinary moral beliefs, construed in realist terms, constitute knowledge—or at least some weaker positive epistemic status, such as epistemic justification. The “debunking challenge” to this view grants prima facie justification but claims that it is “debunked” (i.e., defeated), yielding the final verdict that moral beliefs are ultima facie unjustified. Notable candidate “debunkers” (i.e., defeaters) include the so-called “evolutionary debunking arguments,” the “Benacerraf-Field Challenge,” and persistent moral disagreement among (...)
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  29.  79
    Structure and the Concept of Number.Mark Eli Kalderon - 1995 - Dissertation, Princeton University
    The present essay examines and critically discusses Paul Benacerraf's antiplatonist argument of "What Numbers Could Not Be." In the course of defending platonism against Benacerraf's semantic skepticism, I develop a novel platonist analysis of the content of arithmetic on the basis of which the necessary existence of the natural numbers and the nature of numerical reference are explained.
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  30. What is Field's Epistemological Objection to Platonism?Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - In Robin Stenwall & Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (eds.), Maurinian Truths : Essays in Honour of Anna-Sofia Maurin on her 50th Birthday. pp. 123-133.
    This paper concerns an epistemological objection against mathematical platonism, due to Hartry Field.The argument poses an explanatory challenge – the challenge to explain the reliability of our mathematical beliefs – which the platonist, it’s argued, cannot meet. Is the objection compelling? Philosophers disagree, but they also disagree on (and are sometimes very unclear about) how the objection should be understood. Here I distinguish some options, and highlight some gaps that need to be filled in on the potentially most compelling version (...)
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  31. Mathematics as Language.Adam Morton - 1996 - In Adam Morton & Stephen P. Stich (eds.), Benacerraf and His Critics. Blackwell. pp. 213--227.
    I discuss ways in which the linguistic form of mathimatics helps us think mathematically.
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