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Truth, Reference and Realism

Edited by Zsolt Novák, András Simonyi

Publication Year: 2011

The volume presents the material of the first Oxford-Budapest Conference on Truth, Reference and Realism held at CEU in 2005. The problem addressed by the conference, famously formulated by Paul Benacerraf in a paper on Mathematical Truth, was how to understand truth in the semantics of discourses about abstract domains whose objects and properties cannot be observed by sense perception. The papers of the volume focus on this semantic issue in four major fields: logic, mathematics, ethics and the metaphysics of properties in general. Beyond marking an important event, the collected papers are also substantial contributions to the above topic, from the most distinguished authors in these areas.

Published by: Central European University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

This volume is a collection of six papers, the original versions of which were presented by the authors at the first Oxford-Budapest conference at Central European University in Budapest, 28–30 April 2005. By organising this conference, we wished to enhance scholarly interaction...

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pp. ix-xxxv

It is an entrenched and plausible view in philosophy that we can gain knowledge of objective truths by evidence other than sense experience. The clearest candidates of this type of knowledge are our claims about non-spatiotemporal domains, as in pure logic and mathematics, and those expressing analytic truths, independently of whether their intended...

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The Reality of Mathematics and the Case of Set Theory

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pp. 1-75

What is mathematics about? In what does the reality of mathematics consist? How can we know this reality? This paper propounds a realist conception of mathematics on which mathematical truth is objective but the truths of mathematics do not refer to mathematical objects. The subject matter of mathematics is structures (e.g. the structure of...

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Conceptualism and Knowledge of Logic: A Budget of Problems

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pp. 77-123

Ordinary cognizers reason, at least sometimes, in accordance with logical rules. They find some instances of logical principles compelling and obvious, provided the latter are sufficiently simple and undemanding. They are “sensitive to logical form,” as Russell would put...

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What is Logic?

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pp. 125-175

What is logic? Textbooks typically introduce the subject as the science of consequence. Thus in an early section of his estimable primer—a section entitled “What Logic Is About”—we find Benson Mates explaining that...

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Absolute Identity and Absolute Generality

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pp. 177-205

In conversations between native speakers, words such as ‘same’ and ‘identical’ do not usually cause much difficulty. We take it for granted that others use them with the same sense as we do. If it is unclear whether numerical or qualitative identity is intended, a brief gloss such as “one thing not two” for the former or “exactly alike” for the latter...

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The Refutation of Expressivism

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pp. 207-234

How should we set about the task of explaining the meaning of normative statements—that is, of statements about what ought to be the case, or about what people ought to do or to think? (As I am using the term, a “statement” is just the speech act that is performed by the sincere utterance of a declarative sentence. So a “normative statement” is just...

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Benacerraf' s Problem, Abstract Objects and Intellect

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pp. 235-262

The target paper for the conference which was the origin of this collection was Benacerraf’s “Mathematical Truth” (1973). Benacerraf’s article concerns the difficulty of combining a causal theory of knowledge with the fact that, in the case of mathematics at least, the objects of our knowledge are abstract entities without causal powers. In the first section...

About the Authors

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pp. 263-264


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pp. 265-278

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789639776920
Print-ISBN-13: 9789639776869

Page Count: 316
Publication Year: 2011