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Deflating Existential Consequence

Author: Jody Azzouni
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198036241
Size: 30.66 MB
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If we must take mathematical statements to be true, must we also believe in the existence of abstracta eternal invisible mathematical objects accessible only by the power of pure thought? Jody Azzouni says no, and he claims that the way to escape such commitments is to accept (as an essential part of scientific doctrine) true statements which are about objects that don't exist in any sense at all. Azzouni illustrates what the metaphysical landscape looks like once we avoid a militant Realism which forces our commitment to anything that our theories quantify. Escaping metaphysical straitjackets (such as the correspondence theory of truth), while retaining the insight that some truths are about objects that do exist, Azzouni says that we can sort scientifically-given objects into two categories: ones which exist, and to which we forge instrumental access in order to learn their properties, and ones which do not, that is, which are made up in exactly the same sense that fictional objects are. He offers as a case study a small portion of Newtonian physics, and one result of his classification of its ontological commitments, is that it does not commit us to absolute space and time.

The Indispensability Of Mathematics

Author: Mark Colyvan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198031444
Size: 43.85 MB
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The Quine-Putnam indispensability argument in the philosophy of mathematics urges us to place mathematical entities on the same ontological footing as other theoretical entities essential to our best scientific theories. Recently, the argument has come under serious scrutiny, with many influential philosophers unconvinced of its cogency. This book not only outlines the indispensability argument in considerable detail but also defends it against various challenges.

Metaphysical Myths Mathematical Practice

Author: Jody Azzouni
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521442237
Size: 13.49 MB
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Jody Azzouni argues in this original and exciting study that mathematical knowledge really is a special kind of knowledge with its own special means of gathering evidence. He analyzes the linguistic pitfalls and misperceptions philosophers in this field are often prone to, and explores the misapplications of epistemic principles from the empirical sciences to the exact sciences. What emerges is a picture of mathematics both sensitive to mathematical practice, and to the ontological and epistemological issues that concern philosophers.

Nominalism About Properties

Author: Ghislain Guigon
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317532260
Size: 60.67 MB
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Nominalism, which has its origins in the Middle Ages and continues into the Twenty-First Century, is the doctrine that there are no universals. This book is unique in bringing together essays on the history of nominalism and essays that present a systematic discussion of nominalism. It introduces the reader to the distinction between particulars and universals, to the difficulties posed by this distinction, and to the main motivations for the rejection of universals. It also describes the main varieties of nominalism about properties and provides tools to understand how they developed in the history of Western Philosophy. All essays are new and are written by experts on the topic, and they advance the discussion about nominalism to a new level.

Thinking About Science Reflecting On Art

Author: Otávio Bueno
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351629131
Size: 33.44 MB
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Thinking about Science, Reflecting on Art: Bringing Aesthetics and Philosophy of Science Together is the first book to systematically examine the relationship between the philosophy of science and aesthetics. With contributions from leading figures from both fields, this edited collection engages with such questions as: Does representation function in the same way in science and in art? What important characteristics do scientific models share with literary fictions? What is the difference between interpretation in the sciences and in the arts? Can there be a science of aesthetics? In what ways can aesthetics and philosophy of science be integrated? Aiming to develop the interconnections between the philosophy of science and the philosophy of art more broadly and more deeply than ever before, this volume not only explores scientific representation by comparison with fiction but extends the scope of interaction to include metaphysical and other questions around methodology in mainstream philosophy of science, including the aims of science, the characterisation of scientific understanding, and the nature of observation, as well as drawing detailed comparisons between specific examples in both art and the sciences.

Philosophy Of Mathematics Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide

Author: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199808939
Size: 70.71 MB
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This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of social work find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study Philosophy. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.oxfordbibligraphies.com.

Ontology Without Borders

Author: Jody Azzouni
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190622555
Size: 14.90 MB
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Our experience of objects (and consequently our theorizing about them) is very rich. We perceive objects as possessing individuation conditions. They appear to have boundaries in space and time, for example, and they appear to move independently of a background of other objects or a landscape. In Ontology Without Boundaries Jody Azzouni undertakes an analysis of our concept of object, and shows what about that notion is truly due to the world and what about it is a projection onto the world of our senses and thinking. Location and individuation conditions are our product: there is no echo of them in the world. Features, the ways that objects seem to be, aren't projections. Azzouni shows how the resulting austere metaphysics tames a host of ancient philosophical problems about constitution ("Ship of Theseus," "Sorities"), as well as contemporary puzzles about reductionism. In addition, it's shown that the same sorts of individuation conditions for properties, which philosophers use to distinguish between various kinds of odd abstracta-universals, tropes, and so on, are also projections. Accompanying our notion of an object is a background logic that makes cogent ontological debate about anything from Platonic objects to Bigfoot. Contemporary views about this background logic ("quantifier variance") make ontological debate incoherent. Azzouni shows how a neutral interpretation of quantifiers and quantifier domains makes sense of both philosophical and pre-philosophical ontological debates. Azzouni also shows how the same apparatus makes sense of our speaking about a host of items--Mickey Mouse, unicorns, Martians--that nearly all of us deny exist. It's allowed by what Azzouni shows about the background logic of our ontological debates, as well as the semantics of the language of those debates that we can disagree over the existence of things, like unicorns, without that background logic and semantics forcing ontological commitments onto speakers that they don't have.

Properties Powers And Structures

Author: Alexander Bird
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113634571X
Size: 16.73 MB
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While the phrase "metaphysics of science" has been used from time to time, it has only recently begun to denote a specific research area where metaphysics meets philosophy of science—and the sciences themselves. The essays in this volume demonstrate that metaphysics of science is an innovative field of research in its own right. The principle areas covered are: The modal metaphysics of properties: What is the essential nature of natural properties? Are all properties essentially categorical? Are they all essentially dispositions, or are some categorical and others dispositional? Realism in mathematics and its relation to science: What does a naturalistic commitment of scientific realism tell us about our commitments to mathematical entities? Can this question be framed in something other than a Quinean philosophy? Dispositions and their relation to causation: Can we generate an account of causation that takes dispositionality as fundamental? And if we take dispositions as fundamental (and hence not having a categorical causal basis), what is the ontological ground of dispositions? Pandispositionalism: Could all properties be dispositional in nature? Natural kinds: Are there natural kinds, and if so what account of their nature should we give? For example, do they have essences? Here we consider how these issues may be illuminated by considering examples from reals science, in particular biochemistry and neurobiology.

A Companion To Relativism

Author: Steven D. Hales
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781444392487
Size: 43.99 MB
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A Companion to Relativism presents original contributions from leading scholars that address the latest thinking on the role of relativism in the philosophy of language, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of science, logic, and metaphysics. Features original contributions from many of the leading figures working on various aspects of relativism Presents a substantial, broad range of current thinking about relativism Addresses relativism from many of the major subfields of philosophy, including philosophy of language, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of science, logic, and metaphysics

Metaphysical Grounding

Author: Fabrice Correia
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107022894
Size: 38.76 MB
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This anthology systematically investigates philosophical ideas about priority, and comprises original contributions on particular questions about priority and an introduction which provides a broader survey of the debate, addressing its history as well as its central systematic aspects. Of interest to students and scholars of metaphysics.