Philosophia Mathematica 22 (3):345-360 (2014)

Russell Marcus
Hamilton College
The new explanatory or enhanced indispensability argument alleges that our mathematical beliefs are justified by their indispensable appearances in scientific explanations. This argument differs from the standard indispensability argument which focuses on the uses of mathematics in scientific theories. I argue that the new argument depends for its plausibility on an equivocation between two senses of explanation. On one sense the new argument is an oblique restatement of the standard argument. On the other sense, it is vulnerable to an instrumentalist response. Either way, the explanatory indispensability argument is no improvement on the standard one
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DOI 10.1093/philmat/nku004
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References found in this work BETA

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Realism, Mathematics and Modality.Hartry Field - 1988 - Philosophical Topics 16 (1):57-107.

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Ontic Explanation Is Either Ontic or Explanatory, but Not Both.Cory Wright & Dingmar van Eck - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:997–1029.

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Isn’T the Indispensability Argument Necessarily Analogical?Woosuk Park - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 41:13-18.


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