more from Michèle Friend

Single Idea 8681

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 1. Mathematical Platonism / b. Against mathematical platonism]

Full Idea

The main philosophical problem with the position of platonism or realism is the epistemic problem: of explaining what perception or intuition consists in; how it is possible that we should accurately detect whatever it is we are realists about.

Gist of Idea

The big problem for platonists is epistemic: how do we perceive, intuit, know or detect mathematical facts?


Michèle Friend (Introducing the Philosophy of Mathematics [2007], 2.5)

Book Reference

Friend,Michèle: 'Introducing the Philosophy of Mathematics' [Acumen 2007], p.36

A Reaction

The best bet, I suppose, is that the mind directly perceives concepts just as eyes perceive the physical (see Idea 8679), but it strikes me as implausible. If we have to come up with a special mental faculty for an area of knowledge, we are in trouble.

Related Idea

Idea 8679 We perceive the objects of set theory, just as we perceive with our senses [Gödel]