Philosophical Studies 139 (3):423 - 440 (2008)

Authors
Chris Daly
University of Manchester
Abstract
This paper distinguishes revolutionary fictionalism from other forms of fictionalism and also from other philosophical views. The paper takes fictionalism about mathematical objects and fictionalism about scientific unobservables as illustrations. The paper evaluates arguments that purport to show that this form of fictionalism is incoherent on the grounds that there is no tenable distinction between believing a sentence and taking the fictionalist's distinctive attitude to that sentence. The argument that fictionalism about mathematics is ‘comically immodest’ is also evaluated. In place of those arguments, an argument against fictionalism about abstract objects of any kind is presented in the last section. This argument takes the form of a trilemma against the fictionalist.
Keywords Fictionalism  Belief  Acceptance
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-007-9132-x
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Science Without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism.Hartry H. Field - 1980 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
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The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fictionalism.Matti Eklund - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Mere Formalities: Normative Fictions and Normative Authority.Daniel Wodak - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
Platonism in Metaphysics.Markn D. Balaguer - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1 (1):1.
Fictionalism in the Philosophy of Mathematics.Mark Balaguer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

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