Grounding Concepts: An Empirical Basis for Arithmetic Knowledge

Hardcover | August 14, 2008

byC. S. Jenkins

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Grounding Concepts tackles the issue of arithmetical knowledge, developing a new position which respects three intuitions which have appeared impossible to satisfy simultaneously: a priorism, mind-independence realism, and empiricism.Drawing on a wide range of philosophical influences, but avoiding unnecessary technicality, a view is developed whereby arithmetic can be known through the examination of empirically grounded concepts. These are concepts which, owing to their relationship to sensory input, are non-accidentallyaccurate representations of the mind-independent world. Examination of such concepts is an armchair activity, but enables us to recover information which has been encoded in the way our concepts represent. Emphasis on the key role of the senses in securing this coding relationship means that theview respects empiricism, but without undermining the mind-independence of arithmetic or the fact that it is knowable by means of a special armchair method called conceptual examination. A wealth of related issues are covered during the course of the book, including definitions of realism, conditions on knowledge, the problems with extant empiricist approaches to the a priori, mathematical explanation, mathematical indispensability, pragmatism, conventionalism, empiricist criteriafor meaningfulness, epistemic externalism and foundationalism. The discussion encompasses themes from the work of Locke, Kant, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Quine, McDowell, Field, Peacocke, Boghossian, and many others.

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Grounding Concepts tackles the issue of arithmetical knowledge, developing a new position which respects three intuitions which have appeared impossible to satisfy simultaneously: a priorism, mind-independence realism, and empiricism.Drawing on a wide range of philosophical influences, but avoiding unnecessary technicality, a view is ...

Carrie Jenkins is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Nottingham, an Associate Fellow of the Arche Research Centre in St Andrews and the Centre for Metaphysics and Mind in Leeds, and an Affiliate Member of the Eidos Metaphysics Centre in Geneva. Her main research interests are in epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophy...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.89 inPublished:August 14, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199231575

ISBN - 13:9780199231577

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Table of Contents

PREFACEINTRODUCTIONPART 1 - REALISM AND KNOWLEDGE1. Realism2. Externalism and Empiricism3. A Theory of KnowledgePART 2 - AN EPISTEMOLOGY FOR ARITHMETIC4. A Theory of Arithmetical Knowledge5. Development6. ClarificationsPART 3 - OBJECTIONS7. On The Very Idea of Concept Grounding: Thinking Too Big8. More On The Very Idea of Concept Grounding9. Other ObjectionsFINAL REMARKSGLOSSARYREFERENCESINDEX