Contrastive empiricism and indispensability

Erkenntnis 51 (2-3):323-332 (1999)
Abstract
The Quine-Putnam indispensability argument urges us to place mathematical entities on the same ontological footing as (other) theoretical entities of empirical science. Recently this argument has attracted much criticism, and in this paper I address one criticism due to Elliott Sober. Sober argues that mathematical theories cannot share the empirical support accrued by our best scientific theories, since mathematical propositions are not being tested in the same way as the clearly empirical propositions of science. In this paper I defend the Quine-Putnam argument against Sober's objections.
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