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Realism in Mathematics - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Realism in Mathematics

Penelope Maddy


Many mathematicians understand their work as an effort to describe the denizens and features of an abstract mathematical world or worlds. Most philosophers of mathematics consider views of this sort highly problematic, largely due to two stark difficulties laid out by Benacerraf: first, if mathematical things are abstract, and thus not to be found in space and time, how can we come to know anything about them? Second, how can mathematics be the study of certain particular things, when all that seems to matter mathematically are various structural features and relations? The goal of this book i ... More

Keywords: Benacerraf, Cantor, Continuum Hypothesis, Gödel, Penelope Maddy, philosophy, philosophy of mathematics, Platonism, Quine, realism, set theoretic axioms, set theoretic realism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1992 Print ISBN-13: 9780198240358
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/019824035X.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Penelope Maddy, author
University of California, Irvine
Author Webpage

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