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 mathematics   explanation   realism   nominalism
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DOI 10.2307/27653642
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References found in this work BETA
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Naturalism in Mathematics.Penelope Maddy - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
Science Without Numbers.Hartry Field - 1980 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Mathematical Explanation in Science.Alan Baker - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):611-633.
Mathematical Explanations Of Empirical Facts, And Mathematical Realism.Aidan Lyon - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):559-578.
Mirror Symmetry and Other Miracles in Superstring Theory.Dean Rickles - 2013 - Foundations of Physics 43 (1):54-80.

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