Du Châtelet’s Philosophy of Mathematics

In The Bloomsbury Companion to Du Châtelet. Bloomsbury (forthcoming)

Aaron Wells
Universität-GH Paderborn
I begin by outlining Du Châtelet’s ontology of mathematical objects: she is an idealist, and mathematical objects are fictions dependent on acts of abstraction. Next, I consider how this idealism can be reconciled with her endorsement of necessary truths in mathematics, which are grounded in essences that we do not create. Finally, I discuss how mathematics and physics relate within Du Châtelet’s idealism. Because the primary objects of physics are partly grounded in the same kinds of acts as yield mathematical objects, she thinks we are sometimes licensed in drawing conclusions about physical things from mathematical premises.
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