[FOM] Semantical realism without ontological realism in mathematics
Neil Tennant
neilt at mercutio.cohums.ohio-state.edu
Thu May 22 09:22:35 EDT 2003
On Wed, 21 May 2003, Aatu Koskensilta wrote:
> By mathematical semantical realism I basicly mean the position that
> mathematical statements are true or false independent of the
> mathematicians studying or knowing their truth or falsity. Also, realist
> position as regards to semantics insists that all statements obey the
> law of bivalence.
Let's call this position, defined in terms of bivalence, semantic realism
(SR).
> Now, if we take the position that Tarskian correspondence theory of
> truth is the only viable realistic theory of truth, it would seem that
> accepting semantical realism would force us to accept ontological
> realism in mathematics as well, for the (relevant portions of) Tarskian
> recursive definition of truth actually boil down to certain objects
> having the properties and relations the sentences ascribes them, and
> it's hard to see how any existential statement could be true in the
> Tarskain sense if "the mathematical objects don't exist out there".
Let's call the view that the abstract objects of mathematics exist as
mind-independent objects, 'ontological realism' (OR).
I believe that each of the following four positions has adherents:
1. SR + OR
2. SR + not-OR
3. not-SR + OR
4. not-SR + not-OR
For (1), I would cite Frege.
For (2), I would cite Field.
For (3), I offer myself (well, not in the sense that I would *die* for the
position ...)
For (4), I would cite Brouwer.
Neil Tennant
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