Quine's weak and strong indispensability argument

Quine's views on indispensability arguments in mathematics are scrutinised. A weak indispensability argument is distinguished from a strong indispensability thesis. The weak argument is the combination of the criterion of ontological commitment, holism and a mild naturalism. It is used to refute nominalism. Quine's strong indispensability thesis claims that one should consider all and only the mathematical entities that are really indispensable. Quine has little support for this thesis. This is even clearer if one takes into account Maddy's critique of Quine's strong indispensability thesis. Maddy's critique does not refute Quine's weak indispensability argument. We are left with a weak and almost unassailable indispensability argument.
Keywords Maddy  Quine  epistemic virtues  indispensability argument  mathematical ontology
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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: 13,022
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
Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

38 ( #53,053 of 1,410,432 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #107,949 of 1,410,432 )

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.