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Nominalism and constructivism in seventeenth-century mathematical philosophy. (English) Zbl 1078.01008

The author discusses the role played by nominalism and constructivism in 17th century mathematical philosophy. The main part of the paper is devoted to the work of Pierre Gassendi (1592–1655). It is argued that Gassendi – almost known for the revival of classical atomism of Democritus – had also a major contribution to nominalist epistemology and ontology and that his program of epistemological reform was often centered on mathematical objects and categories. There are also discussed the contributions to nominalism and constructivism in mathematical philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, Isaac Barrow and Isaac Newton.

MSC:

01A45 History of mathematics in the 17th century
00A30 Philosophy of mathematics
03-03 History of mathematical logic and foundations

Biographic References:

Gassendi, Pierre
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