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Aristotle on Mathematical Objects

Apeiron 24 (4):105 - 133 (1991)

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  1. Geometrical Objects as Properties of Sensibles: Aristotle’s Philosophy of Geometry.Emily Katz - 2019 - Phronesis 64 (4):465-513.
    There is little agreement about Aristotle’s philosophy of geometry, partly due to the textual evidence and partly part to disagreement over what constitutes a plausible view. I keep separate the questions ‘What is Aristotle’s philosophy of geometry?’ and ‘Is Aristotle right?’, and consider the textual evidence in the context of Greek geometrical practice, and show that, for Aristotle, plane geometry is about properties of certain sensible objects—specifically, dimensional continuity—and certain properties possessed by actual and potential compass-and-straightedge drawings qua quantitative and (...)
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  • Plato's Problem: An Introduction to Mathematical Platonism.Marco Panza & Andrea Sereni - 2013 - London and Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    What is mathematics about? And if it is about some sort of mathematical reality, how can we have access to it? This is the problem raised by Plato, which still today is the subject of lively philosophical disputes. This book traces the history of the problem, from its origins to its contemporary treatment. It discusses the answers given by Aristotle, Proclus and Kant, through Frege's and Russell's versions of logicism, Hilbert's formalism, Gödel's platonism, up to the the current debate on (...)
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  • Aristotle on Mathematical Truth.Phil Corkum - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (6):1057-1076.
    Both literalism, the view that mathematical objects simply exist in the empirical world, and fictionalism, the view that mathematical objects do not exist but are rather harmless fictions, have been both ascribed to Aristotle. The ascription of literalism to Aristotle, however, commits Aristotle to the unattractive view that mathematics studies but a small fragment of the physical world; and there is evidence that Aristotle would deny the literalist position that mathematical objects are perceivable. The ascription of fictionalism also faces a (...)
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  • Mathematical Generality, Letter-Labels, and All That.F. Acerbi - 2020 - Phronesis 65 (1):27-75.
    This article focusses on the generality of the entities involved in a geometric proof of the kind found in ancient Greek treatises: it shows that the standard modern translation of Greek mathematical propositions falsifies crucial syntactical elements, and employs an incorrect conception of the denotative letters in a Greek geometric proof; epigraphic evidence is adduced to show that these denotative letters are ‘letter-labels’. On this basis, the article explores the consequences of seeing that a Greek mathematical proposition is fully general, (...)
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  • Aristotle on the Subject Matter of Geometry.Richard Pettigrew - 2009 - Phronesis 54 (3):239-260.
    I offer a new interpretation of Aristotle's philosophy of geometry, which he presents in greatest detail in Metaphysics M 3. On my interpretation, Aristotle holds that the points, lines, planes, and solids of geometry belong to the sensible realm, but not in a straightforward way. Rather, by considering Aristotle's second attempt to solve Zeno's Runner Paradox in Book VIII of the Physics , I explain how such objects exist in the sensibles in a special way. I conclude by considering the (...)
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  • The Platonist Absurd Accumulation of Geometrical Objects: Metaphysics Μ.2.José Edgar González-Varela - 2020 - Phronesis 65 (1):76-115.
    In the first argument of Metaphysics Μ.2 against the Platonist introduction of separate mathematical objects, Aristotle purports to show that positing separate geometrical objects to explain geometrical facts generates an ‘absurd accumulation’ of geometrical objects. Interpretations of the argument have varied widely. I distinguish between two types of interpretation, corrective and non-corrective interpretations. Here I defend a new, and more systematic, non-corrective interpretation that takes the argument as a serious and very interesting challenge to the Platonist.
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  • An Absurd Accumulation: Metaphysics M.2, 1076b11-36.Emily Katz - 2014 - Phronesis 59 (4):343-368.
    The opening argument in the Metaphysics M.2 series targeting separate mathematical objects has been dismissed as flawed and half-hearted. Yet it makes a strong case for a point that is central to Aristotle’s broader critique of Platonist views: if we posit distinct substances to explain the properties of sensible objects, we become committed to an embarrassingly prodigious ontology. There is also something to be learned from the argument about Aristotle’s own criteria for a theory of mathematical objects. I hope to (...)
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  • A Penetrating Question in the History of Ideas: Space, Dimensionality and Interpenetration in the Thought of Avicenna.Jon Mcginnis - 2006 - Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 16 (1):47-69.
  • Aristotle and Mathematics.Henry Mendell - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.