Confirmation theory and indispensability

Philosophical Studies 96 (1):1-19 (1999)

Mark Colyvan
University of Sydney
In this paper I examine Quine''s indispensability argument, with particular emphasis on what is meant by ''indispensable''. I show that confirmation theory plays a crucial role in answering this question and that once indispensability is understood in this light, Quine''s argument is seen to be a serious stumbling block for any scientific realist wishing to maintain an anti-realist position with regard to mathematical entities.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy of Mind   Philosophy of Religion
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1004248218844
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References found in this work BETA

The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. V. O. Quine - 2011 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press.
Realism, Mathematics and Modality.Hartry Field - 1988 - Philosophical Topics 16 (1):57-107.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. V. O. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].

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Citations of this work BETA

Response to Colyvan.Joseph Melia - 2002 - Mind 111 (441):75-80.
The Miracle of Applied Mathematics.Mark Colyvan - 2001 - Synthese 127 (3):265-277.
In Defence of Indispensability.Mark Colyvan - 1998 - Philosophia Mathematica 6 (1):39-62.
The Epistemic Indispensability Argument.Cristian Soto - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (1):145-161.

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