Scientific Realism and the Indispensability Argument for Mathematical Realism: A Marriage Made in Hell
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):307-325 (2011)
An emphasis on explanatory contribution is central to a recent formulation of the indispensability argument (IA) for mathematical realism. Because scientific realism is argued for by means of inference to the best explanation (IBE), it has been further argued that being a scientific realist entails a commitment to IA and thus to mathematical realism. It has, however, gone largely unnoticed that the way that IBE is argued to be truth conducive involves citing successful applications of IBE and tracing this success over time. This in turn involves identifying those constituents of scientific theories that are responsible for their predictive success and showing that these constituents are retained across theory change in science. I argue that even if mathematics can be shown to feature in best explanations, the role of mathematics in scientific theories does not satisfy the condition that mathematics is always retained across theory change. According to a scientific realist, this condition needs to be met for making ontological claims on the basis of explanatory contribution. Thus scientific realists are not committed to mathematical realism on the basis of this recent formulation of IA
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Alan Baker (2009). Mathematical Explanation in Science. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):611-633.
Alan Baker (2005). Are There Genuine Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena? Mind 114 (454):223-238.
Alan Baker (2001). Mathematics, Indispensability and Scientific Progress. Erkenntnis 55 (1):85-116.
Jacob Busch (2011). Is the Indispensability Argument Dispensable? Theoria 77 (2):139-158.
Jos F. Busch (1939). Het Gouden Jaar Van Bergson. Synthese 4 (1):42 - 51.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael Resnik (1995). Scientific Vs. Mathematical Realism: The Indispensability Argument. Philosophia Mathematica 3 (2):166-174.
Susan Vineberg (1996). Confirmation and the Indispensability of Mathematics to Science. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):263.
Juha Saatsi (2007). Living in Harmony: Nominalism and the Explanationist Argument for Realism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):19 – 33.
Aidan Lyon (2012). Mathematical Explanations Of Empirical Facts, And Mathematical Realism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):559 - 578.
Ilkka Niiniluoto (2007). Abduction and Scientific Realism. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 12:137-142.
Mary Leng (2005). Platonism and Anti-Platonism: Why Worry? International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (1):65 – 84.
Mark Colyvan (1998). In Defence of Indispensability. Philosophia Mathematica 6 (1):39-62.
Sorin Ioan Bangu (2008). Inference to the Best Explanation and Mathematical Realism. Synthese 160 (1):13-20.
Jacob Busch (2012). The Indispensability Argument for Mathematical Realism and Scientific Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):3-9.
Chris Pincock (2011). Mathematical Structural Realism. In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism.
Moti Mizrahi (2012). Why the Ultimate Argument for Scientific Realism Ultimately Fails. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):132-138.
Richard Reiner & Robert Pierson (1995). Hacking's Experimental Realism: An Untenable Middle Ground. Philosophy of Science 62 (1):60-69.
Added to index2011-03-23
Total downloads118 ( #13,896 of 1,699,553 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #50,123 of 1,699,553 )
How can I increase my downloads?