Pythagorean powers or a challenge to platonism

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):639 – 645 (1996)
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.
Keywords Platonism  Abstract objects  Hartrey Field  Causal Powers  Indispensability Arguments
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DOI 10.1080/00048409612347571
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Citations of this work BETA
Sam Cowling (2013). The Way of Actuality. Australasian Journal of Philosophy (2):1-17.
Colin Cheyne (1998). Existence Claims and Causality. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (1):34 – 47.
Mark Colyvan (1998). Is Platonism a Bad Bet? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (1):115 – 119.
Chris Mortensen (1998). On the Possibility of Science Without Numbers. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):182 – 197.

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