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Areté

versión impresa ISSN 1016-913X

Resumen

HOPKINS, Burt C.. The Source of Platonism in the Philosophy of Mathematics Revisited: Aristotle’s Critique of Eidetic Numbers. arete [online]. 2010, vol.22, n.1, pp. 27-50. ISSN 1016-913X.

According to the so-called Platonistic conception of the nature of mathematical entities, mathematical statements are analogous to statements about real physical objects and their relations, with the one decisive difference that mathematical entities are neither physical nor individuated spatio-temporally and, thus, not perceived sensuously. Mathematical Platonism is therefore of a piece with Platonism in general, which posits the thesis of an ideal world of entities -eídē- that are both separate (chōristón) from and the cognitive and ontological foundations of the real world of physical things possessing spatio-temporal properties. While the non-identity of the Platonistic conception of mathematical entities with the Platonism of the "historical" Plato is usually either tacitly or explicitly acknowledged by its defenders and critics alike, its connection with the "historical" Aristotle’s critique of Plato’s philosophy usually goes unacknowledged. This paper both calls attention to Aristotle’s connection with the so-called Platonism traditionally conceived and reconstructs a crucial aspect of his critique of the original Platonic chōrismós thesis, an aspect that is missed unless the true target of this critique, the equally original Platonic account of eidetic numbers, is recognized.

Palabras llave : Platonism; mathematical Platonism; chrismós thesis; eidetic numbers; abstraction.

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