Can the new indispensability argument be saved from Euclidean rescues?

Synthese 187 (2):489-508 (2012)
The traditional formulation of the indispensability argument for the existence of mathematical entities (IA) has been criticised due to its reliance on confirmational holism. Recently a formulation of IA that works without appeal to confirmational holism has been defended. This recent formulation is meant to be superior to the traditional formulation in virtue of it not being subject to the kind of criticism that pertains to confirmational holism. I shall argue that a proponent of the version of IA that works without appeal to confirmational holism will struggle to answer a challenge readily answered by proponents of a version of IA that does appeal to confirmational holism. This challenge is to explain why mathematics applied in falsified scientific theories is not considered to be falsified along with the rest of the theory. In cases where mathematics seemingly ought to be falsified it is saved from falsification, by a so called 'Euclidean rescue'. I consider a range of possible answers to this challenge and conclude that each answer fails
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-010-9848-6
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
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
W. V. Quine (1992). Pursuit of Truth. Harvard University Press.
Willard V. O. Quine (1951). Two Dogmas of Empiricism. Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Woosuk Park (2008). Isn't the Indispensability Argument Necessarily Analogical? Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 41:13-18.
Lieven Decock (2002). Quine's Weak and Strong Indispensability Argument. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (2):231-250.
Mark Colyvan (1998). In Defence of Indispensability. Philosophia Mathematica 6 (1):39-62.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

22 ( #132,874 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.