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Can ante rem structuralism solve the access problem?

MacBride, F. (2008) Can ante rem structuralism solve the access problem? The Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230), pp. 155-164. ISSN 0031-8094.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9213.2007.524.x

Abstract

Ante rem structuralism is the doctrine that mathematics describes a realm of abstract (structural) universals. According to its proponents, appeal to the existence of these universals provides a source of distinctive insight into the epistemology of mathematics, in particular insight into the so-called 'access problem' of explaining how mathematicians can reliably access truths about an abstract realm to which they cannot travel and from which they receive no signals. Stewart Shapiro offers the most developed version of this view to date. Through an examination of Shapiro's proposed structuralist epistemology for mathematics I argue that ante rem structuralism fails to provide the ingredients for a satisfactory resolution of the access problem for infinite structures (whether small or large).

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2010 12:28
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2739

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