more from C. Anthony Anderson

Single Idea 18769

[catalogued under 7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 2. Types of Existence]

Full Idea

A cursory examination shows that mathematicians have no aversion to saying that this-or-that mathematical entity exists. But is this a different sense of 'existence'?

Gist of Idea

Do mathematicians use 'existence' differently when they say some entity exists?


C. Anthony Anderson (Identity and Existence in Logic [2014], 2.6)

Book Reference

'Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophical Logic', ed/tr. Horsten,L/Pettigrew,R [Bloomsbury 2014], p.72

A Reaction

For those of us like me and my pal Quine who say that 'exist' is univocal (i.e. only one meaning), this is a nice challenge. Quine solves it by saying maths concerns sets of objects. I, who don't like sets, am puzzled (so I turn to fictionalism...).