Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics
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Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics

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Description

Balaguer demonstrates that there are no good arguments for or against mathematical platonism. He does this by establishing that both platonism and anti-platonism are defensible views. Introducing a form of platonism ("full-blooded platonism") that solves all problems traditionally associated with the view, he proceeds to defend anti-platonism (in particular, mathematical fictionalism) against various attacks, most notably the Quine-Putnam indispensability attack. He concludes by arguing that it is not simply that we do not currently have any good argument for or against platonism, but that we could never have such an argument and, indeed, that there is no fact of the matter as to whether platonism is correct.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 230 pages
  • 161 x 237.2 x 20.3mm | 544.32g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195122305
  • 9780195122305

Review quote

Platonism and anti-platonism in mathematics is an impressive work. Balaguer presents forceful arguments for the viability of both FBP and fictionalism, and against the feasibility of any substantially different Platonist or anti-Platonist position. ... an admirable achievement. * The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic * In the end the author, quite as much as Goodman and Quine, though in a different way, rejects scientific standards and classical mathematics, and remains true to the spirit, if not the letter, of nominalism...In addition to his ultimate and intermediary conclusions, the author reaches conclusions on many lesser controversial questions, and offers a number of insights on the way. * John P. Burgess, Princeton University, The Philosophical Review * Brings several interesting new ideas to the philosophy of mathematics. The most important is a new position concerning the existence of mathematical objects-his Full-Blooded Platonism. This is the novel and radical claim that any mathematical object that can consistently exist does exist. Balaguer has done an excellent job of expounding and defending this idea. I find his philosophical style unique in its honesty and boldness; for he manages to make his initially provocative claims quite plausible without having to weaken or qualify them. This is an important work from which not only philosophers of mathematics but also epistemologists and metaphysicians will profit. * Michael D. Resnik, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill * Platonism and anti-platonism in mathematics is an impressive work. Balaguer presents forceful arguments for the viability of both FBP and fictionalism, and against the feasibility of any substantially different Platonist or anti-Platonist position. ... an admirable achievement. * The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic *show more

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