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Abstract Entities


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Table of Contents


1. The Case for Platonism

2. The Abstract-Concrete Distinction

3. Paradox, Parsimony, and Infinite Regresses

4. Causal Concerns

5. Non-uniqueness

6. Modal Objections

7. Nominalist Options





About the Author

Sam Cowling is Assistant Professor, Denison University, USA.


'This is a terrific book, and the first full-length introduction to this fascinating topic. Writing in an accessible and student-friendly style, Sam Cowling presents a thorough and systematic presentation of the metaphysical, semantic and epistemological issues raised by abstract entities. Highly recommended!' - Christopher Daly, University of Manchester, UK

'In this impressive book Sam Cowling provides both a clear introduction to the debate over abstract entities, and a careful examination of the platonist position. He is scrupulously fair to both sides, conceding much to the combination of nominalism with realism about possibilities.' - Peter Forrest, University of New England, Australia

'One of the most important problems in philosophy is whether there are abstract objects - such as numbers, properties and propositions. Sam Cowling does a superb job in introducing the debates and problems around this issue. The book is written very clearly and shows an excellent command of the literature. Highly recommended.' - Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra, University of Oxford, UK

"Readers should come away from Cowling's excellent book appreciating the merits and the plausibility of contemporary platonism, even if they disagree with some of the details. It is largely written for those at home with analytic metaphysics and epistemology. Philosophers of mathematics have overlapping interests, so will learn lots from this fine book." - James Robert Brown, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

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