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eBook Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics download

by Mark Balaguer

eBook Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics download ISBN: 0195143981
Author: Mark Balaguer
Publisher: Oxford University Press (July 19, 2001)
Language: English
Pages: 240
ePub: 1422 kb
Fb2: 1719 kb
Rating: 4.7
Other formats: lit mbr lit txt
Category: Math Sciences
Subcategory: Mathematics

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. Start reading Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics on your Kindle in under a minute.

Balaguer does this by establishing that both platonism and anti-platonism are justifiable views

Balaguer does this by establishing that both platonism and anti-platonism are justifiable views. Introducing a form of platonism, called "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.

In this book, 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.

Mark Balaguer’s project in this book is extremely ambitious; he sets out to defend both platonism and ctionalism about mathematical enti-ties. Moreover, Balaguer argues that at the end of the day, platonism and ctionalism are on an equal footing. Not content to leave the matter there, however, he advances the anti-metaphysical conclusion that there is no fact of the matter about the existence of mathematical objects. Despite the ambitious nature of this project, for the most part Bala-guer does not shortchange the reader on rigor; all the main theses ad-vanced are argued for at length and.

Start by marking Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics as Want to Read .

Start by marking Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. In this deft and vigorous book, Mark Balaguer demonstrates that there are no good arguments for or against mathematical platonism (i. the view that abstract, or non-spatio-temporal, mathematical objects exist, and that mathematical theories are descriptions of such objects).

In this deft and vigorous book, Mark Balaguer demonstrates that there are no good arguments for or against mathematical platonism (i. Balaguer does this by establishing that both platonism and anti-platonism are defensible positions. In Part I, he shows that the former is defensible by introducing a novel version of platonism, which he calls full-blooded platonism, or FBP.

In this deft and vigorous book, Mark Balaguer demonstrates that there are no good arguments for or against mathematical platonism (.

December 2002 · Bulletin of Symbolic Logic.

Certain popular tenets about ontology lead to an unpleasant dilemma for the straightforward assessment of scientific theory. The problem stems from theory pairs which are formally equivalent in the sense of interdefinability yet possess different ontologies by current reckoning. A standard illustration 1 of this situation in this: let M1 be a theory of mechanics employing mass points as basic objects and let M~ be similar yet with only extended objects as its primitive elements. December 2002 · Bulletin of Symbolic Logic.

In this highly absorbing work, Balaguer demonstrates that no good arguments exist either for or against mathematical platonism-for example, the view that abstract mathematical objects do exist and that mathematical theories are descriptions of such objects. Balaguer does this by establishing that both platonism and anti-platonism are justifiable views. Introducing a form of platonism, called "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 arguments for or against platonism but that we could never have such an argument. This lucid and accessible book breaks new ground in its area of engagement and makes vital reading for both specialists and all those intrigued by the philosophy of mathematics, or metaphysics in general.
Comments: (2)
Forcestalker
To my mind, the author was trying to prove two things:

a) that he is smarter than Kurt Godel, and anyone else who has thought about the problem, and

b) that the correct answer to Platonism vs Fictionalism is "who knows or cares?"

I was unconvinced by the former and underwhelmed by the latter. On internalising the latter, I was unable to finish the book. Perhaps the rest is better, or perhaps I was expecting something else. Or perhaps, being not even as smart as Godel, I am just not clever enough. Who knows, who cares?
Anaginn
This is a remarkably forceful and ambitious book but a very
worthy read nonetheless. Balaguer is clearer in his arguments than about any other contemporary philosopher I have read on the subject! He does however make a few discernable mistakes and shows a surprising lack of depth is some of his tangential examinations as pointed by some of his reviewers (I am thinking of Colyvan and Zalta whose review of this book can be found on the web). Also, out of breath as I was, by the time I finished this book, I cannot say I feel persuaded by its thesis with respect to the indescernability between Fictionalism and Platonism. This is mostly because he means to accomplish it through a nominalization of Quantum Mechanics which I find not just blatantly flawed but ultimately indefensible (but I will address why I think so in a review of Hatry Field's book on Fictionalism since my qualms start with his own approach to this program. With David Malament I doubt QM can be nominalized or fictionalized.). Still Balaguer's notion of Full-Bloodied Platonism, the peculiar point-of-view he develops and embraces in this work is extremely interesting and challenging: it comes down to the notion that all "broadly possible" mathematical structures exist. This happens to be, though Balaguer seems anaware of it, a thesis currently arrived at by physical cosmologists speculating about the "Multiverse" (see Mark Tegmark's recent Scientific American article on "Parallel Worlds")! When different lines of speculation arrive at the same concepts there is some hint of historical consensus one tends to suspect a metaphysical corner where we are all about to get stuck for a while! On the other hand I cannot help to remark how simplistic and misleading is the language in which philosophers insist in carrying their arguments! An example from the beginning is the characterization of an abstract object as one that exists "non-spaciotemporaly". Though he ends up debating some of the obvious problems with this
distinction Balaguer never addresses today's scientific consensus that space-time itself is an abstract object of some sort (except if you ask Julian Barbour and his Leibnitzian crowd), either Riemann space or Multiverse, so one may naturally ask why should it be a previledged reference for existence (among such objetcs)? On this matter I take a a more radical view than Balaguer, which I would call "Full-Bodied Platonism", by arguing that all that exists are abstract mathematical objects (but NOT all mathematical objects need exist)! That is what he calls spaciotemporal existents (that includes us, at least the ones among us who cartesianly think they exist) whose existence is merely contingent on our participation in the true (eternal and necessary) existence of such abstractions. (But wait! Isn't that what Plato thought?)