Realism and Naturalism, Mathematical - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

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Many versions of realism in mathematics are intimately related to versions of naturalism. The purpose of this article is to explore relationships between the various views, and, briefly, the main opposition to them. The focus here is exclusively on mathematics. So, for example, "Platonism" is to be read as "Platonism about mathematics." This entry does not claim to do justice to the subtle and detailed works of everyone who works in the philosophy of mathematics, or even everyone who defends versions of realism and/or naturalism. Instead, this entry seeks to provide a useful road map of an important part of the territory.

In broad terms, realism is the view that mathematics is objective: independent of the lives, customs, language, and form of life of mathematicians. This statement is deliberately indeterminate. What aspects of mathematics are being discussed? What, exactly, is it...

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This section contains 4,350 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Realism and Naturalism, Mathematical Encyclopedia Article
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Realism and Naturalism, Mathematical from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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