Inference to the Best Explanation and Mathematical Realism

Synthese 160 (1):13-20 (2008)
Abstract
Arguing for mathematical realism on the basis of Field’s explanationist version of the Quine–Putnam Indispensability argument, Alan Baker has recently claimed to have found an instance of a genuine mathematical explanation of a physical phenomenon. While I agree that Baker presents a very interesting example in which mathematics plays an essential explanatory role, I show that this example, and the argument built upon it, begs the question against the mathematical nominalist.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Language   Metaphysics   Epistemology   Logic
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-006-9070-8
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Alan Baker (2009). Mathematical Explanation in Science. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):611-633.
Sorin Bangu (2013). Indispensability and Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):255-277.

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