more from John P. Burgess

Single Idea 10188

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 7. Mathematical Structuralism / e. Structuralism critique]

Full Idea

The 'Van Inwagen Problem' for structuralism is of explaining how a mathematical relation (such as set membership, or the ratios of an ellipse) can fit into one of the three scholastics types of relations: are they internal, external, or intrinsic?

Gist of Idea

How can mathematical relations be either internal, or external, or intrinsic?


John P. Burgess (Review of Chihara 'Struct. Accnt of Maths' [2005], 5)

A Reaction

The difficulty is that mathematical objects seem to need intrinsic properties to get any of these three versions off the ground (which was Russell's complaint against structures).