Philosophical Studies

, Volume 176, Issue 2, pp 473–481 | Cite as

Mathematical descriptions

  • Bernard Linsky
  • Edward N. ZaltaEmail author


In this paper, the authors briefly summarize how object theory uses definite descriptions to identify the denotations of the individual terms of theoretical mathematics and then further develop their object-theoretic philosophy of mathematics by showing how it has the resources to address some objections recently raised against the theory. Certain ‘canonical’ descriptions of object theory, which are guaranteed to denote, correctly identify mathematical objects for each mathematical theory T, independently of how well someone understands the descriptive condition. And to have a false belief about some particular mathematical object is not to have a true belief about some different mathematical object.


Philosophy of mathematics Abstract objects Definite descriptions Denotation of individual terms 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Center for the Study of Language and InformationStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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