A Structural Account of Mathematics - download pdf or read online

By Charles S. Chihara

ISBN-10: 0199228078

ISBN-13: 9780199228072

ISBN-10: 0199267537

ISBN-13: 9780199267538

Charles Chihara's new booklet develops a structural view of the character of arithmetic, and makes use of it to give an explanation for a couple of awesome beneficial properties of arithmetic that experience questioned philosophers for hundreds of years. particularly, this attitude permits Chihara to teach that, so that it will know the way mathematical platforms are utilized in technology, it isn't essential to think that its theorems both presuppose mathematical items or are even precise. He additionally advances numerous new methods of undermining the Platonic view of arithmetic. an individual operating within the box will locate a lot to present and stimulate them the following.

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The scientist deals with various physical objects with which we are related, if only indirectly, by a multitude of causal relationships. Yet, our scientific theorizing requires the use of the mathematical theories discussed above that evidently make reference to 9 The reader can find references to some works defending such theories in Azzouni, 1994: 7 n. 10. FIVE PUZZLES / 17 a wide variety of mathematical entities. But why is it crucial for scientists to refer to and to discover relationships among the inert mathematical objects discussed and referred to in our mathematical theories in order to discover facts about the physical entities discussed in their scientific theories?

2). However, the philosopher who has written most extensively about this problem is Jody Azzouni. Azzouni takes up the problem in the following way: We have to tell a story of how the terms we use refer to what they refer to, and this story is not supposed to be nonnatural. That is, whatever the story is, it must be consistent with our current scientific picture of the sort of creature we are. (Azzouni, 1994: 7). He then briefly sketches some attempts to answer this problem about how we refer in general.

To use an example Lewis gives, the relationships of distance holding between the electron orbiting the proton of a classical hydrogen atom are not internal, since these relations do not depend upon just the intrinsic properties of the electron and the proton taken separately. But if we take the composite—the hydrogen atom—then the relations' holding does depend upon the intrinsic properties of the composite. So we have an example of an external (intrinsic) relation. As I noted earlier: Definition: A relation that is not intrinsic is extrinsic.

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A Structural Account of Mathematics by Charles S. Chihara


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