A nominalist's dilemma and its solution

Otávio Bueno, Edward N. Zalta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Current versions of nominalism in the philosophy of mathematics have the benefit of avoiding commitment to the existence of mathematical objects. But this comes with the cost of not taking mathematical theories literally. Jody Azzouni's Deflating Existential Consequence has recently challenged this conclusion by formulating a nominalist view that lacks this cost. In this paper, we argue that, as it stands, Azzouni's proposal does not yet succeed. It faces a dilemma to the effect that either the view is not nominalist or it fails to take mathematics literally. After presenting the dilemma, we suggest a possible solution for the nominalist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-307
Number of pages14
JournalPhilosophia Mathematica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Philosophy


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