This book is concerned with `the problem of existence in mathematics'. It develops a mathematical system in which there are no existence assertions but only assertions of the constructibility of certain sorts of things. It explores the philosophical implications of such an approach through an examination of the writings of Field, Burgess, Maddy, Kitcher, and others.
A powerful challenge to some highly influential theories, this book offers a thorough critical exposition of modal realism, the philosophical doctrine that many possible worlds exist of which our own universe is just one. Chihara challenges this claim and offers a new argument for modality without worlds.
This paper explores some lines of argument in wittgenstein's post-Tractatus writings in order to indicate the relations between wittgenstein's philosophical psychology, On the one hand, And his philosophy of language, His epistemology, And his doctrines about the nature of philosophical analysis on the other. The authors maintain that the later writings of wittgenstein express a coherent doctrine in which an operationalistic analysis of confirmation and language supports a philosophical psychology of a type the authors call "logical behaviorism." they also maintain (...) that there are good grounds for rejecting the philosophical theory implicit in wittgenstein's later works. In particular, They first argue that wittgenstein's position leads to some implausible conclusions concerning the nature of language and psychology; second, They maintain that the arguments wittgenstein provides are inconclusive; and third, They sketch an alternative position which they believe avoids many of the difficulties implicit in wittgenstein's philosophy. (shrink)
This paper addresses John Burgess's answer to the ‘Benacerraf Problem’: How could we come justifiably to believe anything implying that there are numbers, given that it does not make sense to ascribe location or causal powers to numbers? Burgess responds that we should look at how mathematicians come to accept: There are prime numbers greater than 1010That, according to Burgess, is how one can come justifiably to believe something implying that there are numbers. This paper investigates what lies behind Burgess's (...) answer and ends up as a rebuttal to Burgess's reasoning. (shrink)