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Metaphysical Myths, Mathematical Practice
The Ontology and Epistemology of the Exact Sciences

$38.00 ( ) USD

  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511834073

$ 38.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • New interpretation of the philosophy of mathematics
    • Will interest a broad cross-section of philosophy as well as mathematicians
    • Not particularly technical
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Azzouni's book is a well-conceived and worthwhile contribution. ...it is altogether closely argued, and stimulates serious reflection." Canadian Philosophical Reviews

    "Interesting, important and well worth reading." Mark Balaguer, Journal of Symbolic Logic

    ". . . this is a very interesting and stimulating book. . . I repeatedly return to it to study its ideas and arguments, and to test my own views against them" --Michael D. Resnik, Philosophia Mathematica

    "Metaphysical Myths is written in an engaging style and contains a wealth of informative references . . . . the book is rich with arguments that will more than repay careful study." --Philosophical Books

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511834073
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    Part I. Mathematical Practice and its Puzzles:
    1. Metaphysical inertness
    2. Metaphysical inertness and reference
    3. The virtues of (second-order) theft
    4. Intuitions about reference and axiom systems
    5. Comparing mathematical terms and empirical terms I
    6. Comparing mathematical terms and empirical terms II
    7. The epistemic role puzzle
    8. Benacerraf's puzzle
    9. Comparing puzzles
    10. Quine's approach I
    11. Quine's approach II
    Part II. The Stuff of Mathematics: Posits and Algorithms:
    12. Introduction
    13. An initial picture
    14. Application and truth
    15. Systems, application and truth
    16. Quine's objections to truth by convention
    17. Grades of ontological commitment
    18. Multiply interpreting systems
    19. Intuitions about reference revisited
    Part III. The Geography of the A Priori:
    20. Introduction
    21. Algorithms again
    22. Some observations on metamathematics
    23. Incorrigible co-empiricalness
    24. Why there are no incorrigible co-empirical truths
    25. Normative considerations, the success of applied mathematics, concluding thoughts
    Appendix
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Jody Azzouni, Tufts University, Massachusetts

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