Understanding the Infinite I: Niceness, Robustness, and Realism

Corfield, David (2010) Understanding the Infinite I: Niceness, Robustness, and Realism. Philosophia Mathematica, 18 (3). pp. 253-275. ISSN 0031-8019. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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This paper treats the situation where a single mathematical construction satisfies a multitude of interesting mathematical properties. The examples treated are all infinitely large entities. The clustering of properties is termed 'niceness' by the mathematician Michiel Hazewinkel, a concept we compare to the 'robustness' described by the philosopher of science William Wimsatt. In the final part of the paper, we bring our findings to bear on the question of realism which concerns not whether mathematical entities exist as abstract objects, but rather whether the choice of our concepts is forced upon us.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: David Corfield
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2011 14:31
Last Modified: 15 May 2014 13:04
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/27991 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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