Literalism and the applicability of arithmetic

Abstract
Philosophers have recently expressed interest in accounting for the usefulness of mathematics to science. However, it is certainly not a new concern. Putnam and Quine have each worked out an argument for the existence of mathematical objects from the indispensability of mathematics to science. Were Quine or Putnam to disregard the applicability of mathematics to science, he would not have had as strong a case for platonism. But I think there must be ways of parsing mathematical sentences which account for applicability of mathematics and also do not require us to believe in entities we have no evidence for, other than through reading these sentences literally. We will explore a particular way to interpret sentences of arithmetic which promises to account for their applicability without bringing in metaphysics not also brought in by science. The investigation will be limited to the arithmetic of cardinal numbers. The general strategy is to argue for the analogy between arithmetic and science, rather than to argue for one case having a particular characteristic independently of the other.
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
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,105
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
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

11 ( #137,206 of 1,101,746 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #81,958 of 1,101,746 )

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.