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The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge

Philip Kitcher


The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge develops and defends an empiricist approach to mathematical knowledge. After offering an account of a priori knowledge, it argues that none of the available accounts of a priori mathematical knowledge is viable. It then constructs an approach to the content of mathematical statements, viewing mathematics as grounded in our manipulations of physical reality. From these crude beginnings, mathematics unfolds through the successive modifications of mathematical practice, spurred by the presence of unsolved problems. This process of unfolding is con ... More

Keywords: kitcher, a priori knowledge, analysis, apriorism, conceptualism, epistemology, history of mathematics, mathematical knowledge, philosophy of mathematics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1985 Print ISBN-13: 9780195035414
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0195035410.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philip Kitcher, author
University of Minnesota
Author Webpage