Pythagorean Powers

Abstract
The Quine/Putnam indispensability argument is regarded by many as the chief argument for the existence of platonic objects. We argue that this argument cannot establish what its proponents intend. The form of our argument is simple. Suppose indispensability to science is the only good reason for believing in the existence of platonic objects. Either the dispensability of mathematical objects to science can be demonstrated and, hence, there is no good reason for believing in the existence of platonic objects, or their dispensability cannot be demonstrated and, hence, there is no good reason for believing in the existence of mathematical objects which are genuinely platonic. Therefore, indispensability, whether true or false, does not support platonism. Mathematical platonists claim that at least some of the objects which are the subject matter of pure mathematics (e.g. numbers, sets, groups) actually exist. Furthermore, they claim that these objects differ radically from the concrete objects (trees, cats, stars, molecules) which inhabit the material world. We take the standard platonistic position to include the claim that platonic objects lack spatio-temporal location and causal powers. Many (perhaps most) mathematical platonists subscribe to this view.1 But some who call themselves (or might be called) mathematical platonists..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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 Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,404
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

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Mary Leng (2005). Platonism and Anti-Platonism: Why Worry? International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (1):65 – 84.
Russell Marcus (2007). Numbers Without Science. Dissertation, The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York
A. Baker (2003). Does the Existence of Mathematical Objects Make a Difference? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):246 – 264.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-22

Total downloads

19 ( #90,396 of 1,103,008 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #120,820 of 1,103,008 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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