[FOM] burden of proof
henriknordmark at mac.com
Sun Jun 10 19:29:51 EDT 2007
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> I wonder if the burden of proof argument has been a topic of formal
> reflection in FOM.
> I would be happy to know some sketch on this topic, for example
> about the realist - anti-realist debate
I do not know whether "burden of proof" has ever been discussed on
FOM as a concept per se, nor whether there have been any attempts to
capture this concept in a *formalized* manner. However, this does
seem to be a question worthy of reflection.
As for your second question...
Here is a rough sketch of how the burden-of-proof technique is used
in the realist/anti-realist debate in philosophy of mathematics:
(a) The anti-realist often claims that the burden of proof is on the
epistemological front and challenges the realist by asking: How is it
that human beings are able to access information about this
mysterious platonic universe of atemporal, acausal mathematical objects?
(b) The realist on the other hand, would often like to place the
burden of proof on explaining the universality of mathematics. If
mathematics is just a fiction, why is it so useful and universal in
Both the realist and the anti-realist would like to make us believe
that answering this question is such an impossible task that the only
reasonable conclusion is to adopt their point of view. And there are
probably many more examples of these burden-of-proof type arguments
in philosophy of mathematics, but these are the first two that came
immediately to mind.
Henrik L Nordmark.
Institute for Logic, Language and Computation
Universiteit van Amsterdam
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.1 (Darwin)
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
More information about the FOM