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What is mathematics about? Does the subject-matter of mathematics exist independently of the mind or are they mental constructions? How do we know mathematics? Is mathematical knowledge logical knowledge? And how is mathematics applied to the material world? In this introduction to the philosophy of mathematics, Michele Friend examines these and other ontological and epistemological problems raised by the content and practice of mathematics. Aimed at a readership with limited proficiency in mathematics but with some experience of formal logic it seeks to strike a balance between conceptual accessibility and correct representation of the issues. Friend examines the standard theories of mathematics - Platonism, realism, logicism, formalism, constructivism and structuralism - as well as some less standard theories such as psychologism, fictionalism and Meinongian philosophy of mathematics. In each case Friend explains what characterises the position and where the divisions between them lie, including some of the arguments in favour and against each. This book also explores particular questions that occupy present-day philosophers and mathematicians such as the problem of infinity, mathematical intuition and the relationship, if any, between the philosophy of mathematics and the practice of mathematics. Taking in the canonical ideas of Aristotle, Kant, Frege and Whitehead and Russell as well as the challenging and innovative work of recent philosophers like Benacerraf, Hellman, Maddy and Shapiro, Friend provides a balanced and accessible introduction suitable for upper-level undergraduate courses and the non-specialist.
Written for any readers interested in better harnessing philosophy’s real value, this book covers a broad range of fundamental philosophical problems and certain intellectual techniques for addressing those problems. In Introducing Philosophy: God, Mind, World, and Logic, Neil Tennant helps any student in pursuit of a ‘big picture’ to think independently, question received dogma, and analyse problems incisively. It also connects philosophy to other areas of study at the university, enabling all students to employ the concepts and techniques of this millennia-old discipline throughout their college careers – and beyond. KEY FEATURES AND BENEFITS: -- Investigates the philosophy of various subjects (psychology, language, biology, math), helping students contextualize philosophy and view it as an interdisciplinary pursuit; also helps students with majors outside of philosophy to see the relationship between philosophy and their own focused academic pursuits -- Author comes from a distinguished background in Logic and Philosophy of Language, which gives the book a level of rigor, balance, and analytic focus sometimes missing from primers to philosophy -- Introduces students to various important philosophical distinctions (e.g. fact vs. value, descriptive vs. prescriptive, norms vs. laws of nature, analytic vs. synthetic, inductive vs. deductive, a priori vs. a posteriori) providing skills that are important for undergraduates to develop in order to inform their study at higher levels. They are essential for further work in philosophy but they are also very beneficial for students pursuing most other disciplines -- Is much more methodologically comprehensive than competing introductions, giving the student the ability to address a wide range of philosophical problems – and not just the ones reviewed in the book -- Offers a companion website with links to apt primary sources, organized chapter-by-chapter, making unnecessary a separate Reader/Anthology of primary sources – thus providing students with all reading material necessary for the course -- Provides five to ten discussion questions for each chapter, helping instructors and students better interact with the ideas and concepts in the text
Philosophers have always enjoyed asking awkward and provocative questions, such as: What is the nature of reality? What are human beings really like? What is special about the human mind and consciousness? Are we free to choose who we are and what we do? Can we prove that God exists? Can we be certain about anything at all? What is truth? Does language provide us with a true picture of the world? How should we behave towards each other? Do computers think? "Introducing Philosophy" is a comprehensive graphic guide to the thinking of all the significant philosophers of the Western world from Heraclitus to Derrida. It examines and explains their key arguments and ideas without being obscure or solemn. Lively and accessible, it is the perfect introduction to philosophers and philosophical ideas for anyone coming to the subject for the first time.
Collection of the most interesting recent writings on the philosophy of mathematics written by highly respected researchers from philosophy, mathematics, physics, and chemistry Interdisciplinary book that will be useful in several fields—with a cross-disciplinary subject area, and contributions from researchers of various disciplines
This book introduces the central issues of metaphysics and epistemology, from skepticism, justification, and perception to universals, personal identity, and free will. Though topically organized, the book integrates positions and examples from the history of philosophy. Plato, Descartes, and Leibniz are discussed alongside Quine, Kripke, and Haslanger. Peripheral ideas and related historical asides are offered in boxes interspersed within the text, providing further depth without disrupting the author’s lucid explanations of central themes and arguments. Original illustrations by Gillian Wilson are included throughout, giving interesting and clear visual representations of many of the book’s examples and thought experiments.
In this book, Balaguer demonstrates that there are no good arguments for or against mathematical platonism. He establishes that both platonism and anti-platonism are defensible views and introduces a form of platonism ("full-blooded platonism") that solves all problems traditionally associated with the view, proceeding to defend anti-platonism (in particular, mathematical fictionalism) against various attacks--most notably the Quine-Putnam indispensability attack.
Classic undergraduate text acquaints students with fundamental concepts and methods of mathematics. Topics include axiomatic method, set theory, infinite sets, groups, intuitionism, formal systems, mathematical logic, and much more. 1965 second edition.

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