Andrea Sereni's research while affiliated with Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna and other places

Publications (33)

Article
A thriving literature has developed over logical and mathematical pluralism – i.e. the views that several rival logical and mathematical theories can be equally correct. These have unfortunately grown separate; instead, they both could gain a great deal by a closer interaction. Our aim is thus to present some novel forms of abstractionist mathemati...
Preprint
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Philosophers have long debated whether, if determinism is true, we should hold people morally responsible for their actions since in a deterministic universe, people are arguably not the ultimate source of their actions nor could they have done otherwise if initial conditions and the laws of nature are held fixed. To reveal how non-philosophers ord...
Chapter
Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all s...
Article
Foundational projects disagree on whether pure and applied mathematics should be explained together. Proponents of unified accounts like neologicists defend Frege’s Constraint (FC), a principle demanding that an explanation of applicability be provided by mathematical definitions. I reconsider the philosophical import of FC, arguing that usual conc...
Article
Recent discussions on Fregean and neo-Fregean foundations for arithmetic and real analysis pay much attention to what is called either ‘Application Constraint’ ( $AC$ ) or ‘Frege Constraint’ ( $FC$ ), the requirement that a mathematical theory be so outlined that it immediately allows explaining for its applicability. We distinguish between two con...
Chapter
A standard understanding of abstraction principles elicits two opposite readings: Intolerant Reductionism, where abstractions are seen as reducing talk of abstract objects to talk about non-problematic domains, and Robust Abstractionism, where newly introduced terms genuinely refer to abstract objects. Against this dichotomy between such “austere”...
Article
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Since at least Hume and Kant, philosophers working on the nature of aesthetic judgment have generally agreed that common sense does not treat aesthetic judgments in the same way as typical expressions of subjective preferences—rather, it endows them with intersubjective validity, the property of being right or wrong regardless of disagreement. More...
Article
How many logics do logical pluralists adopt, or are allowed to adopt, or ought to adopt, in arguing for their view? These metatheoretical questions lurk behind much of the discussion on logical pluralism, and have a direct bearing on normative issues concerning the choice of a correct logic and the characterization of valid reasoning. Still, they c...
Article
This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition (viz. that someone who has a true justified belief that p may nonetheless fail to know that p) in 24 sites, located in 23 countries (counting Hong Kong as a distinct country) and across 17 languages. We also consider the possible influence of gender and personality on this intuition w...
Article
On November 19–20 2012, the Institut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques in Paris hosted a two-day workshop on Indispensability and Explanation organized by Marco Panza and Fabrice Pataut. Most of the papers presented on that occasion or, rather, their distant descendants, have been included in this special issue; some addit...
Article
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The indispensability argument (ia) comes in many different versions that all reduce to a general valid schema. Providing a sound ia amounts to providing a full interpretation of the schema according to which all its premises are true. Hence, arguing whether ia is sound results in wondering whether the schema admits such an interpretation. We discus...
Chapter
A major part of the debate in the philosophy of mathematics of the last forty years has been dominated by attempts at escaping the dilemma Paul Benacerraf suggested in “Mathematical Truth” (Benacerraf 1973).
Book
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We identify four different minimal versions of the indispensability argument, falling under four different varieties: an epistemic argument for semantic realism, an epistemic argument for platonism and a non-epistemic version of both. We argue that most current formulations of the argument can be reconstructed by building upon the suggested minimal...
Chapter
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Over the last decades, a renewed interest for metaphilosophical issues has prompted many philosophers in the analytic tradition to raise questions on the epistemic status and the methodology of philosophical inquiry. Reflection has focused especially on the nature and reliability of intuitions, on the notion of a priori and on the plausibility of t...
Article
The author of “Evidence, Explanation, Enhanced Indispensability” advances a criticism to the Enhanced Indispensability Argument and the use of Inference to the Best Explanation in order to draw ontological conclusions from mathematical explanations in science. His argument relies on the availability of equivalent though competing explanations, and...
Article
In Grundgesetze, Vol. II, §91, Frege argues that ‘it is applicability alone which elevates arithmetic from a game to the rank of a science’. Many view this as an in nuce statement of the indispensability argument (ia) later championed by Quine. Garavaso has questioned this attribution. I argue that even though Frege's applicability argument is not...
Chapter
Most of the platonist strategies we have discussed so far are based on a clarification of the notion of mathematical objects. The strategy to be discussed in this and the following chapters is different, and is based on the so-called Indispensability Argument (henceforth, IA). IA is neutral on the nature of mathematical objects. It stems form the s...
Chapter
As Chapter 6 should have made clear, IA can be questioned on various grounds, depending on the target version and on the notions this is meant to involve. In this chapter we discuss some of the major objections that have been levelled against IA, and some possible replies.
Chapter
In this chapter we continue our survey of responses to Benacerraf’s dilemma and discuss those that in § 3.3, following Hale and Wright, we have classified as conservative. Again, we will present four of them: Hale’s and Wright’s neo-logicism; Linsky’s and Zalta’s “Object Theory”; Shapiro’s ante rem non-eliminative structuralism; and Parsons’ versio...
Chapter
One of the main strands in the contemporary debate on Plato’s problem has originated from two essays by Paul Benacerraf (1965; 1973). Before entering this debate, which will occupy us in Chapters 3–5, let us sum up some relevant aspects of Plato’s problem that have emerged so far. One way of formulating Plato’s problem is to ask an ontological ques...
Chapter
In the present chapter we discuss some of the major responses to Benacerraf’s dilemma. In particular, we will discuss some of those that in § 3.3 have been classified, following Hale and Wright (2000), as non-conservative. We will consider four of these: Field’s nominalism; fic-tionalism, both in Field’s and in Yablo’s version; Hellman’s eliminativ...
Article
What is mathematics about? And how can we have access to the reality it is supposed to describe? The book tells the story of this problem, first raised by Plato, through the views of Aristotle, Proclus, Kant, Frege, Gödel, Benacerraf, up to the most recent debate on mathematical platonism.
Chapter
In a letter to Thomas J. Stieltjes, dated 13 May 1894 (Hermite and Stieltjes, 1905, vol. II, p. 398), Charles Hermite, one of the major analysts of his times, expresses his views about the subject-matter of his own study as follows: I believe that numbers and functions of analysis are not the arbitrary product of our mind; I think that they exist o...
Chapter
Frege was born in 1848, only forty-four years after Kant’s death. Still, Frege’s philosophy of mathematics differs from Kant’s much more than the latter differs from Plato’s, Aristotle’s and Proclus’. The main difference lies in Frege’s attention to a profoundly renewed way of doing mathematics that had flourished during the nineteenth century, and...
Article
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Indispensability arguments (IA) for mathematical realism are commonly traced back to Quine. We identify two different Quinean strands in the interpretation of IA, what we label the 'logical point of view' and the 'theory-contribution' point of view. Focusing on each of the latter, we offer two minimal versions of IA. These both dispense with a numb...
Article
Full-text available
Il s'agit d'une introduction à la philosophie des mathématiques, axée en particulier sur la question du platonisme.

Citations

... See Panza & Sereni (2020) andSereni (2019), which include a critical survey of the recent discussion on Frege's attitude toward applications of mathematical theories.7 See footnotes 19 and 28 below. ...
... Other variables Reflection test performance no longer explained much variance in some philosophical tendencies after controlling for other variables, suggesting that some bivariate reflection-philosophy correlations were confounded with these other variables. In both studies those other variables included education (i.e., having or being a candidate for a Ph.D. in philosophy) and personality-aligning with past work on non-philosophers (e.g., Feltz & Cokely, 2019;Hannikainen et al. 2019) and with the full reflection-philosophy confound hypothesis. ...
... Since this would make the numbers so defined intrinsically ratios on domains of magnitudes, and their application to measurement "built into" their nature and/or their very definition, as required by the application constraint (Wright, 2000, p. 325). In this respect, the previous remarks on the arithmeticity and logicality of our definition in FMR or FMR should be intended to suggest that compliance with this constraint is incompatible not only with offering a logical definition of real numbers, as already argued in Panza & Sereni (2019), but also with defining them nonarithmetically, despite Frege's adhesion to the same constraint as the main source of his quest for a non-arithmetical definition of these numbers. ...
... To decipher the artist's message, first of all, you need to delve a little into history. This kind of art, as a symbiosis of visual form creation and views, beliefs and philosophical inquiries of mankind during the course of evolutionary progress, organically consolidates the spiritual content and the art form (Sereni, 2018). Awareness of the interaction of meaning and form radically changes the view of the essence and nature of fine art in general, where abstraction is a unique artistic and philosophical phenomenon of culture (Potts & Hsi, 1997). ...
... (ii) Once again, people were much less willing to consider robot agents artists than humans (aggregating across behavior types, the effect size was again very large, d=1. 19). As in Experiment 1, perceived mental states correlated more strongly with artistic agency than with an object's being considered art. ...
... It does not specify a desideratum that a correct logic has to satisfy. Sereni and Fogliani (2017) conduct a systematic study of many meta-logical options the pluralist has, such as using the strongest logic, the weakest logic, no logic, or many logics. They conclude that each option comes with its own set of coherence problems. ...
... FollowingEllis (2010), values greater than or equal to .14 are large effects, greater than or equal to .06 but less than .14 are medium effects, and greater than or equal to .01 but less than .06 are small effects (see alsoRose 2015;Rose 2017;Rose and Schaffer 2017;Rose et al. 2018Rose et al. , 2019Rose et al. , 2020Turri et al. 2018; Nadelhoffer et al. forthcoming;Turri et al. 2016;Rose et al. 2014;McLaughlin and Rose 2018). ...
... True, there are specifics in their data that may complicate interpretations of their results. To begin with, most Bedouins did not share the Gettier intuition, though the sample size for this population was small (n = 21) (Machery et al. 2017b). Moreover, it may be important that, when simply asked whether the protagonist knows or doesn't know, Machery and colleagues did find a fair number of cultures in which most of their participants attributed knowledge to the protagonist: 1 of 4 in Machery et al. (2017a) and 10 of 24 in Machery et al. (2017b). ...
... The Capgras delusion may be described as a hypo-identification of the close relative and one's own relatedness to this person (Barrelle & Luauté, 2018;Hirstein, 2010b). The sufferer is usually suspicious of the alleged double, but sometimes displays positive emotions and behavior that do not reflect their delusional belief (Hirstein 2010a, b;Rose, et al., 2017). The experience of familiar appearance and the lack of a feeling of familiarity lead the patient to make assertions about the double (Barrelle and Luauté, 2018;Hirstein 2010a, b). ...
... See JodyAzzouni (2008) and AndreaSereni (2016) for responses to Callard. It requires a separate paper to explore this debate. ...