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Pluralism and the Foundations of Mathematics
, 2006
"... A plurality of approaches to foundational aspects of mathematics is a fact of life. Two loci of this are discussed here, the classicism/constructivism controversy over standards of proof, and the plurality of universes of discourse for mathematics arising in set theory and in category theory, whose ..."
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A plurality of approaches to foundational aspects of mathematics is a fact of life. Two loci of this are discussed here, the classicism/constructivism controversy over standards of proof, and the plurality of universes of discourse for mathematics arising in set theory and in category theory, whose problematic relationship is discussed. The first case illustrates the hypothesis that asufficiently rich subject matter may require a multiplicity of approaches. The second case, while in some respects special to mathematics, raises issues of ontological multiplicity and relativity encountered in the natural sciences as well. 1
A DEFENCE OF MATHEMATICAL PLURALISM
, 2004
"... We approach the philosophy of mathematics via a discussion of the differences between classical mathematics and constructive mathematics, arguing that each is a valid activity within its own context. ..."
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We approach the philosophy of mathematics via a discussion of the differences between classical mathematics and constructive mathematics, arguing that each is a valid activity within its own context.
Conceptions of the Continuum
"... Abstract: A number of conceptions of the continuum are examined from the perspective of conceptual structuralism, a view of the nature of mathematics according to which mathematics emerges from humanly constructed, intersubjectively established, basic structural conceptions. This puts into question ..."
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Abstract: A number of conceptions of the continuum are examined from the perspective of conceptual structuralism, a view of the nature of mathematics according to which mathematics emerges from humanly constructed, intersubjectively established, basic structural conceptions. This puts into question the idea from current set theory that the continuum is somehow a uniquely determined concept. Key words: the continuum, structuralism, conceptual structuralism, basic structural conceptions, Euclidean geometry, Hilbertian geometry, the real number system, settheoretical conceptions, phenomenological conceptions, foundational conceptions, physical conceptions. 1. What is the continuum? On the face of it, there are several distinct forms of the continuum as a mathematical concept: in geometry, as a straight line, in analysis as the real number system (characterized in one of several ways), and in set theory as the power set of the natural numbers and, alternatively, as the set of all infinite sequences of zeros and ones. Since it is common to refer to the continuum, in what sense are these all instances of the same concept? When one speaks of the continuum in current settheoretical