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Charles Parsons examines the notion of object, with the aim to navigate between nominalism, denying that distinctively mathematical objects exist, and forms of Platonism that postulate a transcendent realm of such objects. He introduces the central mathematical notion of structure and defends a version of the structuralist view of mathematical objects, according to which their existence is relative to a structure and they have no more of a 'nature' than that confers on them. Parsons also analyzes the concept of intuition and presents a conception of it distantly inspired by that of Kant, which describes a basic kind of access to abstract objects and an element of a first conception of the infinite.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521452793
ISBN-10: 0521452791
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 25mm)
Pages: 400
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 24-Dec-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Charles Parsons

Charles Parsons holds an AB (mathematics) and PhD (philosophy) from Harvard University and studied for a year at King's College, Cambridge. He was on the faculty at Harvard University from 1962-5 and 1989-2005 and at Columbia University from 1965-89. His publications are mainly in logic, philosophy of mathematics, and Kant. He was an editor of the posthumous works of Kurt Godel (Collected Works, Volumes III-V).

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