Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
One of the important challenges in the philosophy of mathematics is to account for the se mantics of sentences that express mathematical propositions while simultaneously explaining our access to their contents. This is Benacerraf’s Dilemma. In this dissertation, I argue that cognitive science furnishes new tools by means of which we can make progress on this problem. The foundation of the solution, I argue, must be an ontologically realist, albeit non-platonist, conception of mathematical reality. The semantic portion of the problem can be addressed by accepting a Chomskyan conception of natural languages and a matching internalist, mentalist and nativist view of semantics. A helpful perspective on the epistemic aspect of the puzzle can be gained by translating Kurt Godel’s neo-Kantian conception of the nature of mathematics and its objects into modern, cognitive terms
Jerzykiewicz, Luke V., "A COGNITIVE APPROACH TO BENACERRAF’S DILEMMA" (2009). Digitized Theses. 3796.