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Physicalism without the idols of mathematics

Szabo, Laszlo E. (2021) Physicalism without the idols of mathematics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I will argue that the ontological doctrine of physicalism inevitably entails the denial that there is anything conceptual in logic and mathematics. The elements of a formal system, even if they are tagged by suggestive names, are merely meaningless parts of a physically existing machinery, which have nothing to do with concepts, because they have nothing to do with the actual things. The only situation in which they can become meaning-carriers is when they are involved in a physical theory. But in this role they refer to elements of the physical reality, i.e. they represent a physical concept. “Mathematical concepts” are just idols, that philosophy can completely deny and physics can completely ignore.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Szabo, Laszlo E.laszlo.e.szabo@gmail.com0000-0001-7454-8421
Keywords: naturalized epistemology a priori semantics mathematical concept formalism in mathematics constitutive a priori
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Logic
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Ontology
General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Prof. Laszlo E. Szabo
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2022 13:19
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 13:19
Item ID: 21383
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Logic
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Ontology
General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: 10 April 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21383

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