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Avicenna on the Nature of Mathematical Objects


Some authors have proposed that Avicenna considers mathematical objects, i.e., geometric shapes and numbers, to be mental existents completely separated from matter. In this paper, I will show that this description, though not completely wrong, is misleading. Avicenna endorses, I will argue, some sort of literalism, potentialism, and finitism.

Certains auteurs ont proposé qu’Avicenne considérait les objets mathématiques, à savoir les formes géométriques et les nombres, comme étant mentaux et complètement séparés de la matière. Dans cet article, je vais montrer que cette description, qui n’est pas complètement fausse, est cependant trompeuse. Avicenne approuve, je soutiendrai, une sorte de littéralisme, de potentialisme et de finitisme.

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