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Philosophy of Mathematics


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii Introduction 1 1 Mathematics as a Philosophical Challenge 4 2 Frege's Logicism 21 3 Formalism and Deductivism 38 4 Hilbert's Program 56 5 Intuitionism 73 6 Empiricism about Mathematics 88 7 Nominalism 101 8 Mathematical Intuition 116 9 Abstraction Reconsidered 126 10 The Iterative Conception of Sets 139 11 Structuralism 154 12 The Quest for New Axioms 170 Concluding Remarks 183 Bibliography 189 Index 199

About the Author

Oystein Linnebo is professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo, and previously held positions in Bristol, London, and Oxford. He is the coeditor of New Waves in the Philosophy of Mathematics and the author of Thin Objects: An Abstractionist Approach (forthcoming).


"Excellent. . . . [A]n exceptionally well-informed, very readable and clear introduction to the subject. If you are looking for an entry point into the extensive philosophical literature on the nature of mathematics, look no further."---A. C. Paseau, Mathematical Gazette
"Linnebo's slender volume is an admirable addition to the many existing books on the philosophy of mathematics. It is clear, concise, and well written. . . . All in all, this is an excellent introduction to the philosophy of mathematics and should be seriously considered by any individual interested in the subject." * Choice *
"This is a thought-provoking book, and is a useful addition to the textbook literature on this subject." * MAA Reviews *
"This book provides a nice lay of the land for anyone interested in contemporary philosophy of mathematics."---Gregory Lavers, Philosophia Mathematica
"[This book] is very, very good. Superbly clear, concise, well organised, it gives not only a very accessible introduction but also takes the reader all the way to the cutting edge of what philosophers are doing in the philosophy of mathematics. Above all, Linnebo writes as a fully engaged philosopher and makes his preferred choice of philosophical position clear. But this is no mere polemic: I felt he clearly and forcefully presents the strengths and weaknesses of all the philosophical positions he discusses."---Henri Laurie, Mathemafrica

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