Synthese 193 (2):435-449 (2016)

Authors
Joe Morrison
Queen's University, Belfast
Jacob Busch
University of Aarhus
Abstract
Enhanced indispensability arguments claim that Scientific Realists are committed to the existence of mathematical entities due to their reliance on Inference to the best explanation. Our central question concerns this purported parity of reasoning: do people who defend the EIA make an appropriate use of the resources of Scientific Realism to achieve platonism? We argue that just because a variety of different inferential strategies can be employed by Scientific Realists does not mean that ontological conclusions concerning which things we should be Scientific Realists about are arrived at by any inferential route which eschews causes, and nor is there any direct pressure for Scientific Realists to change their inferential methods. We suggest that in order to maintain inferential parity with Scientific Realism, proponents of EIA need to give details about how and in what way the presence of mathematical entities directly contribute to explanations
Keywords Indispensability  Platonism  Inference to the best explanation  Philosophy of science  Philosophy of mathematics  Scientific realism
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0676-6
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Science Without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism.Hartry H. Field - 1980 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

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Citations of this work BETA

Scientific Realism and the Indispensability Argument for Mathematical Realism: A Marriage Made in Hell.Jacob Busch - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):307-325.
A Scientific Metaphysical Naturalisation of Information.Bruce Long - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
Importance and Explanatory Relevance: The Case of Mathematical Explanations.Gabriel Târziu - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):393-412.

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