David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (2):259 - 276 (2009)
W. V. Quine famously argues that though all knowledge is empirical, mathematics is entrenched relative to physics and the special sciences. Further, entrenchment accounts for the necessity of mathematics relative to these other disciplines. Michael Friedman challenges Quine’s view by appealing to historicism, the thesis that the nature of science is illuminated by taking into account its historical development. Friedman argues on historicist grounds that mathematical claims serve as principles constitutive of languages within which empirical claims in physics and the special sciences can be formulated and tested, where these mathematical claims are themselves not empirical but conventional. For Friedman, their conventional, constitutive status accounts for the necessity of mathematics relative to these other disciplines. Here I evaluate Friedman’s challenge to Quine and Quine’s likely response. I then show that though we have reason to find Friedman’s challenge successful, his positive project requires further development before we can endorse it.
|Keywords||Analytic-synthetic distinction A priori Carnap, R. Constitutive principles Conventionalism Entrenchment Friedman, M. Historicism Kuhn, T. Quine, W. V|
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References found in this work BETA
Kelly Becker (2002). Kuhn's Vindication of Quine and Carnap. History of Philosophy Quarterly 19 (2):217 - 235.
Laurence BonJour (1998). In Defense of Pure Reason. Cambridge University Press.
Harold I. Brown (2005). Incommensurability Reconsidered. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (1):149-169.
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Rudolf Carnap (1937). The Logical Syntax of Language. London, K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd..
Citations of this work BETA
Nathaniel Goldberg (2011). Interpreting Thomas Kuhn as a Response-Dependence Theorist. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (5):729 - 752.
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