Career and philosophical positions
Azzouni is currently working on the philosophy of mathematics (he holds a degree in mathematics), science, logic, language and in areas of metaphysics, epistemology, and aesthetics. He acknowledges, as do many of his peers, a debt to the renowned philosopher, Willard Van Orman Quine. Azzouni is of the nominalist bent and has centered much of his philosophical efforts around defending nominalism.
One of his most distinctive positions is the as yet controversial claim that mathematical objects don't exist. Yet, unlike Hartry Field, he believes that the existence claims of mathematics are in fact literally true. That is, some of the existential quantifiers in our ordinary speech carry ontological commitment, but some don't. There is no standard way to indicate which are which, but we can generally tell by context. When someone asks "How many prime numbers are there between 10 and 20?", we understand it in the non-committing way, and answer "4". However, when asked "Are there actually any numbers?", we understand it in the committing way, and he suggests we should answer "No".
In addition to his philosophical endeavors, Azzouni has published numerous short stories. His book of poetry entitled The Lust For Blueprints contains his signature mix of humor and the macabre.
- Metaphysical Myths, Mathematical Practice: The Ontology and Epistemology of the Exact Sciences (1994)
- Knowledge and Reference in Empirical Science (2000)
- Deflating Existential Consequence: A Case for Nominalism (2004)
- Tracking Reason: Proof, Consequence and Truth (2006)
- Talking About Nothing: Numbers, Hallucinations and Fictions (2010)
- The Lust for Blueprints The Poet's Press (1999) ISBN 0-922558-07-8 ISBN 978-0922558070
- Hereafter Landscapes The Poet's Press (2010) ISBN 0-922558-42-6
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