Nominalism and the Indispensability Argument

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Let us understand ‘abstract object’ so that all numbers, sets and properties are abstract objects. An important issue in metaphysics, the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mathematics is whether there are any such abstract objects. Realism about abstracta holds that there are abstract objects, while nominalism holds that there are no abstract objects

In this talk, I will discuss what is widely taken to be the most powerful argument for realism about abstract objects, namely the indispensability argument. I will give reason to think that this argument is self-undermining, where an argument is self-undermining iff, given its conclusion is true, the premises of the argument are either not all true or do not support the argument’s conclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2020
EventThe 4th Taiwan Metaphysics Colloquium : The Realism-Antirealism Debates - National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: 8 Jan 202010 Jan 2020

Public Lecture

Public LectureThe 4th Taiwan Metaphysics Colloquium : The Realism-Antirealism Debates
Country/TerritoryTaiwan, Province of China
Internet address


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