Fictionalism and the attitudes

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

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Chris Daly
University of Manchester

Citations of this work

Mere formalities: fictional normativity and normative authority.Daniel Wodak - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):1-23.
Fictionalism.Matti Eklund - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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.

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References found in this work

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The scientific image.C. Van Fraassen Bas - 1980 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Truth.Paul Horwich - 1990 - Oxford, GB: Clarendon Press. Edited by Frank Jackson & Michael Smith.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.

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