Philosophia Mathematica 17 (3):273-312 (2009)
|Abstract||A serious flaw in Hartry Field’s instrumental account of applied mathematics, namely that Field must overestimate the extent to which many of the structures of our mathematical theories are reflected in the physical world, underlies much of the criticism of this account. After reviewing some of this criticism, I illustrate through an examination of the prospects for extending Field’s account to classical equilibrium statistical mechanics how this flaw will prevent any significant extension of this account beyond field theories. I note in the conclusion that this diagnosis of Field’s program also points the way to modifications that may work|
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