Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics

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9780195143980: Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics

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.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :

Mark Balaguer is at California State University, Los Angeles.

Review :


"excellent book...exceptionally clear, insightful, and useful critical survey"--The Review of Modern Logic "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


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Balaguer, Mark
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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. État : New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In this deft and vigorous book, Mark Balaguer demonstrates that there are no good arguments for or against mathematical platonism (i.e., the view that abstract, or non-spatio-temporal, mathematical objects exist, and that mathematical theories are descriptions of such objects). 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. He argues that if platonists endorse FBP, they can then solve all of the problems traditionally associated with their view, most notably the two Benacerrafian problems (that is, the epistemological problem and the non-uniqueness problem). In Part II, Balaguer defends anti-platonism (in particular, mathematical fictionalism) against various attacks, chief among them the Quine-Putnam indispensability argument. Balaguer s version of fictionalism bears similarities to Hartry Field s, but the arguments Balaguer uses to defend this view are very different. Parts I and II of this book taken together clearly establish that we do not have any good argument for or against platonism. In Part III, Balaguer extends his conclusions, 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 (ie., whether there exist any abstract objects). This lucid and accessibly written book breaks new ground in its area of engagement and makes vital reading for both specialists and anyone else interested in the philosophy of mathematics or metaphysics in general. N° de réf. du libraire AAV9780195143980

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Mark Balaguer
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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. État : New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In this deft and vigorous book, Mark Balaguer demonstrates that there are no good arguments for or against mathematical platonism (i.e., the view that abstract, or non-spatio-temporal, mathematical objects exist, and that mathematical theories are descriptions of such objects). 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. He argues that if platonists endorse FBP, they can then solve all of the problems traditionally associated with their view, most notably the two Benacerrafian problems (that is, the epistemological problem and the non-uniqueness problem). In Part II, Balaguer defends anti-platonism (in particular, mathematical fictionalism) against various attacks, chief among them the Quine-Putnam indispensability argument. Balaguer s version of fictionalism bears similarities to Hartry Field s, but the arguments Balaguer uses to defend this view are very different. Parts I and II of this book taken together clearly establish that we do not have any good argument for or against platonism. In Part III, Balaguer extends his conclusions, 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 (ie., whether there exist any abstract objects). This lucid and accessibly written book breaks new ground in its area of engagement and makes vital reading for both specialists and anyone else interested in the philosophy of mathematics or metaphysics in general. N° de réf. du libraire AAV9780195143980

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