# Penelope Maddy

Penelope Maddy | |
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Born | naturalized Platonism), ^{[1]} mathematical naturalism | July 4, 1950

**Penelope Maddy** (born 4 July 1950) is an American philosopher. Maddy is Emerita UCI Distinguished Professor of

## Education and career

Maddy received her Ph.D. from

^{[3]}

She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998.^{[4]}
The German Mathematical Society awarded her a Gauss Lectureship in 2006.

## Philosophical work

Maddy's early work, culminating in *Realism in Mathematics*, defended Kurt Gödel's position that mathematics is a true description of a mind-independent realm that we can access through our intuition. However, she suggested that some mathematical entities are in fact concrete, unlike, notably, Gödel, who assumed all mathematical objects are abstract. She suggested that sets can be causally efficacious, and in fact share all the causal and spatiotemporal properties of their elements. Thus, when one sees three cups on a table, one also sees the set. She used contemporary work in cognitive science and psychology to support this position, pointing out that just as at a certain age we begin to see objects rather than mere sense perceptions, there is also a certain age at which we begin to see sets rather than just objects.

In the 1990s, she moved away from this position, towards a position described in *Naturalism in Mathematics*. Her "naturalist" position, like

She has been dedicated to understanding and explaining the methods that

## Selected publications

- Maddy, Penelope (June 1988). "Believing the Axioms, I".
*Journal of Symbolic Logic*.**53**(2): 481–511.JSTOR 2274520. (a copy with corrections is available at the author's web page) - Maddy, Penelope (September 1988). "Believing the Axioms, II".
*Journal of Symbolic Logic*.**53**(3): 736–764. . *Realism in Mathematics*, Oxford University Press, 1990.*Naturalism in Mathematics*, Oxford University Press, 1997.*Second Philosophy*, Oxford University Press, 2007.*Defending the Axioms*, Oxford University Press, 2011.*What do Philosophers Do? Skepticism and the Practice of Philosophy*, Oxford University Press, 2017.

## See also

## References

**^**Mark Balaguer, "Against (Maddian) naturalized Platonism",*Philosophia Mathematica*2 (1994), 97–108.**^**Penelope Maddy at the Mathematics Genealogy Project**^**http://www.lps.uci.edu/~pjmaddy/cv.pdf**^***Faculty Academy Members*, University of California, Irvine, retrieved 2019-01-17**^**"The stuff of proof". Archived from the original on 2017-04-11. Retrieved 2015-07-12.**.****^**Frápolli, María J. (2001). "Review: Penelope Maddy,*Naturalism in Mathematics*".*Modern Logic*.**8**(3–4): 113–116.

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## External links

- Penelope Maddy's faculty page
*Penelope Maddy: a philosopher you can count on*– Portrait in Scientific American by Laura Vanderkam, 13 January 2009- Interview at 3AM Magazine