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The chapter advances a reformulation of the classical problem of the nature of mathematical objects (if any), here called “Plato’s problem,” in line with the program of a philosophy of mathematical practice. It then provides a sketch of a platonist solution, following the same perspective. This solution disregards as nonsensical the question of the existence of abstract, and specifically mathematical, objects, by rather focusing on the modalities of our access to them: objects (in general, both concrete and abstract) are regarded as individual contents that we have (or can have) a de re epistemic access to. The question of the existence of mathematical objects is then replaced by that of the modalities of our de re epistemic access to individual mathematical contents.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of a chapter accepted for publication in Bharath Sriraman (Ed.), Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. This version may not exactly replicate the final published version.



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