Multiple realization and expressive power in mathematics and ethics

In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press (2016)
David Liggins
University of Manchester
According to a popular ‘explanationist’ argument for moral or mathematical realism the best explanation of some phenomena are moral or mathematical, and this implies the relevant form of realism. One popular way to resist the premiss of such arguments is to hold that any supposed explanation provided by moral or mathematical properties is in fact provided only by the non-moral or non-mathematical grounds of those properties. Many realists have responded to this objection by urging that the explanations provided by the higher-level, moral and mathematical, properties are informative in a way in which their supposed replacements are not, and that this is because moral and mathematical properties are multiply realizable. This chapter responds to this manoeuvre by proposing a way in which moral and mathematical explanations might preserve the distinctive import that multiple realizability brings, without committing those who accept them to the existence of moral and mathematical properties.
Keywords indispensability arguments  moral realism  mathematical platonism  grounding  multiple realization  explanation
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 36,528
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Multiple Realization and Evidence.Sungsu Kim - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (6):739 - 749.
Realization and Multiple Realization, Chicken and Egg.Thomas W. Polger - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (1):862-877.
Autonomy and Multiple Realization.Robert C. Richardson - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):526-536.
Two Confusions Concerning Multiple Realization.Thomas W. Polger - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):537-547.
Multiple Realization by Compensatory Differences.Kenneth Aizawa - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):69-86.
Realization, Reductios, and Category Inclusion.Ronald P. Endicott - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (4):213-219.
How to Test for Multiple Realization.Lawrence A. Shapiro - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):514-525.
Mathematics and Poetry.Ermanno Bencivenga - 2006 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):158 – 169.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
56 ( #117,788 of 2,302,335 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #96,867 of 2,302,335 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature