Mary Leng’s Mathematics and Reality, Chs 5 & 6

We are reading Mary Leng’s book in the Thursday Logic Seminar for the second part of term. It fell to me to introduce discussion of Chapters 5 and 6, and I found myself yesterday writing (very rapidly indeed) these brisk notes in trying to get my own thoughts clearer before the meeting. There was an excellent discussion which has led to a few after-the-event changes. But mostly these notes stay in the same rough-and-ready form, and I’m not going to have time to do better: so caveat lector! However, they might be of some interest to others intrigued by Mary’s project.

2 thoughts on “Mary Leng’s <em>Mathematics and Reality</em>, Chs 5 & 6”

  1. Thanks for this, Peter. It’s good (if a little unnerving) to hear that the Logic Seminar are having a look at the book.
    Thanks for a clear summary of the material, and some interesting comments. I think you and Burgess are right that the Yablo material should have come later. I’m less convinced that you’re right about the irrelevance of the Cartwright/Hacking take, though. Or, at least, it was meant to be my way of responding to the concern you raise about the distinction between metaphorical and literal being blurred at the level of theory, so I hope it works. My hope is that some kind of entity realism could allow for it to be quite unclear the extent to which many of our theoretical claims are to be taken literally or metaphorically, but for it still be possible to recognise commitments at the level of ontology.
    Thanks for some food for thought though.

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