Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):639 – 645 (1996)

Charles R. Pigden
University of Otago
The Quine/Putnam indispensability argument is regarded by many as the chief argument for the existence of platonic objects. We argue that this argument cannot establish what its proponents intend. The form of our argument is simple. Suppose indispensability to science is the only good reason for believing in the existence of platonic objects. Either the dispensability of mathematical objects to science can be demonstrated and, hence, there is no good reason for believing in the existence of platonic objects, or their dispensability cannot be demonstrated and, hence, there is no good reason for believing in the existence of mathematical objects which are genuinely platonic. Therefore, indispensability, whether true or false, does not support platonism
Keywords Platonism  Abstract objects  Hartrey Field  Causal Powers  Indispensability Arguments
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DOI 10.1080/00048409612347571
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References found in this work BETA

From a Logical Point of View.W. V. O. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.
Science Without Numbers.Hartry Field - 1980 - Princeton University Press.
Realism in Mathematics.Penelope MADDY - 1990 - Oxford University Prress.
Mathematical Truth.Paul Benacerraf - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):661-679.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Miracle of Applied Mathematics.Mark Colyvan - 2001 - Synthese 127 (3):265-277.
Conceptual Contingency and Abstract Existence.Mark Colyvan - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (198):87-91.
Existence Claims and Causality.Colin Cheyne - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (1):34 – 47.
The Way of Actuality.Sam Cowling - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):231-247.

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