Authors
Russell Marcus
Hamilton College
Abstract
The debate over whether we should believe that mathematical objects exist quickly leads to the question of how to determine what we should believe. Indispensabilists claim that we should believe in the existence of mathematical objects because of their ineliminable roles in scientific theory. Eleatics argue that only objects with causal properties exist. Mark Colyvan’s recent defenses of Quine’s indispensability argument against some contemporary eleatics attempt to provide reasons to favor the indispensabilist’s criterion. I show that Colyvan’s argument is not decisive against the eleatic and sketch a way to capture the important intuitions behind both views.
Keywords eleatic principle  indispensability argument  autonomy platonism  mathematical intuition
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ISBN(s) 0495-4548
DOI 10.1387/theoria.12009
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
The Indispensability of Mathematics.Mark Colyvan - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Realism, Mathematics and Modality.Hartry Field - 1988 - Philosophical Topics 16 (1):57-107.

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Citations of this work BETA

Indispensability, Causation and Explanation.Sorin Bangu - 2018 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 33 (2):219-232.

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