Single Idea 18212

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 3. Mathematical Nominalism]

Full Idea

The most popular approach of nominalistically inclined philosophers is to try to reinterpret mathematics, so that its terms and quantifiers only make reference to, say, physical objects, or linguistic expressions, or mental constructions.

Gist of Idea

Nominalists try to only refer to physical objects, or language, or mental constructions


Hartry Field (Science without Numbers [1980], Prelim)

Book Reference

Field,Hartry: 'Science without Number' [Blackwell 1980], p.1

A Reaction

I am keen on naturalism and empiricism, but only referring to physical objects is a non-starter. I think I favour constructions, derived from the experience of patterns, and abstracted, idealised and generalised. Field says application is the problem.