David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Erkenntnis 67 (3):439 - 453 (2007)
In this paper I do two things: (1) I support the claim that there is still some confusion about just what the Quine-Putnam indispensability argument is and the way it employs Quinean meta-ontology and (2) I try to dispel some of this confusion by presenting the argument in a way which reveals its important meta-ontological features, and include these features explicitly as premises. As a means to these ends, I compare Peter van Inwagen’s argument for the existence of properties with Putnam’s presentation of the indispensability argument. Van Inwagen’s argument is a classic exercise in Quinean meta-ontology and yet he claims – despite his argument’s conspicuous similarities to the Quine-Putnam argument – that his own has a substantially different form. I argue, however, that there is no such difference between these two arguments even at a very high level of specificity; I show that there is a detailed generic indispensability argument that captures the single form of both. The arguments are identical in every way except for the kind of objects they argue for – an irrelevant difference for my purposes. Furthermore, Putnam’s and van Inwagen’s presentations make an assumption that is often mistakenly taken to be an important feature of the Quine-Putnam argument. Yet this assumption is only the implicit backdrop against which the argument is typically presented. This last point is brought into sharper relief by the fact that van Inwagen’s list of the four nominalistic responses to his argument is too short. His list is missing an important – and historically popular – fifth option.
|Keywords||Indispensability Quine Putnam Van Inwagen Ontology Meta-ontology Mathematics Properties|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Hartry Field (1980). Science Without Numbers. Princeton University Press.
Penelope Maddy (1990). Realism in Mathematics. Oxford University Prress.
Mark Colyvan (2003). The Indispensability of Mathematics. Oxford University Press.
J. Melia (2000). Weaseling Away the Indispensability Argument. Mind 109 (435):455-480.
Joseph Melia (1995). On What There's Not. Analysis 55 (4):223 - 229.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mark Colyvan (1999). Contrastive Empiricism and Indispensability. Erkenntnis 51 (2-3):323-332.
Mark Colyvan (1998). In Defence of Indispensability. Philosophia Mathematica 6 (1):39-62.
Otávio Bueno (2003). Quine's Double Standard: Undermining the Indispensability Argument Via the Indeterminacy of Reference. Principia 7 (1-2):17-39.
Patrick S. Dieveney (2007). Dispensability in the Indispensability Argument. Synthese 157 (1):105 - 128.
Lieven Decock (2002). Quine's Weak and Strong Indispensability Argument. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (2):231-250.
Sam Baron (2013). A Truthmaker Indispensability Argument. Synthese 190 (12):2413-2427.
Richard Pettigrew (2012). Indispensability Arguments and Instrumental Nominalism. Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (4):687-709.
David Liggins (2007). Quine, Putnam, and the 'Quine-Putnam' Indispensability Argument. Erkenntnis 68 (1):113 - 127.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads46 ( #95,984 of 1,934,389 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #195,835 of 1,934,389 )
How can I increase my downloads?