Aarhus Universitets segl

New article by Jessica Carter: "Mathematical Practice, Fictionalism and Social Ontology"

Topoi, E-Pub Ahead of Print, 24 December (2022)


From the perspective of mathematical practice, I examine positions claiming that mathematical objects are introduced by human agents. I consider in particular mathematical fictionalism and a recent position on social ontology formulated by Cole (2013, 2015). These positions are able to solve some of the challenges that non-realist positions face. I argue, however, that mathematical entities have features other than fictional characters and social institutions. I emphasise that the way mathematical objects are introduced is different and point to the multifaceted role that relations and interconnections play in this context. Finally, I argue that mathematical entities can be considered to be pragmatically real.