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Second PhilosophyA Naturalistic Method$
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Penelope Maddy

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273669.001.0001

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Second methodology of mathematics

Second methodology of mathematics

Chapter:
(p.344) IV.3 Second methodology of mathematics
Source:
Second Philosophy
Author(s):

Penelope Maddy (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273669.003.0025

Given that natural science no longer dictates the course of mathematical development and that no curtailment of the free flowering of pure mathematics seems prudent, what are the appropriate methods to use? This chapter argues that those methods are not properly based in extra-mathematical metaphysics, that internal mathematical ends and values should carry the day. The various branches of mathematics aim at different goals, which explains why set theorists strive for a single unified theory of sets while geometers and algebraists embrace a variety of structures. Set theory's foundational role requires that its fundamental axioms form a unified list and that they be as generous as possible. These desiderata count against an axiom candidate like the Axiom of Constructibility (V=L).

Keywords:   abstract algebra, Axiom of Constructibility, geometry, mathematical methods, pure mathematics, set theory

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