Past Event

Justin Clarke-Doane: Mathematics and Metaphilosophy

October 19, 2023
6:15 PM - 7:15 PM
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Online and in-person: Heyman Center (Second Floor Common Room), Columbia University, New York

Event Description

Justin Clarke-Doane discusses the problem of mathematical knowledge, and its broader philosophical ramifications. It argues that the challenge to explain the (defeasible) justification of our mathematical beliefs ('the justificatory challenge'), arises insofar as disagreement over axioms bottoms out in disagreement over intuitions. And it argues that the challenge to explain their reliability ('the reliability challenge'), arises to the extent that we could have easily had different beliefs. The Element shows that mathematical facts are not, in general, empirically accessible, contra Quine, and that they cannot be dispensed with, contra Field. However, it argues that they might be so plentiful that our knowledge of them is unmysterious. The Element concludes with a complementary 'pluralism' about modality, logic and normative theory, highlighting its surprising implications. Metaphysically, pluralism engenders a kind of perspectivalism and indeterminacy. Methodologically, it vindicates Carnap's pragmatism, transposed to the key of realism.

Event Speaker

Justin Clarke-Doane, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University

Event Information

Free and open to the public; registration required. For more information, please visit the event webpage or email [email protected]. Please visit the Heyman’s Center website for directions. 

Hosted by the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.