Synthese 118 (2):257-277 (1999)

Authors
Anthony F. Peressini
Marquette University
Abstract
The Quine/Putnam indispensability approach to the confirmation of mathematical theories in recent times has been the subject of significant criticism. In this paper I explore an alternative to the Quine/Putnam indispensability approach. I begin with a van Fraassen-like distinction between accepting the adequacy of a mathematical theory and believing in the truth of a mathematical theory. Finally, I consider the problem of moving from the adequacy of a mathematical theory to its truth. I argue that the prospects for justifying this move are qualitatively worse in mathematics than they are in science.
Keywords Indispensability Arguments  mathematical ontology  empirical confirmation
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Reprint years 2004
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DOI 10.1023/A:1005158202218
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References found in this work BETA

Indispensability and Practice.Penelope Maddy - 1992 - Journal of Philosophy 89 (6):275.
A Case for Scientific Realism.Ernan McMullin - 1984 - In J. Leplin (ed.), Scientific Realism. University of California. pp. 8--40.

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Citations of this work BETA

Confirmational Holism and its Mathematical (W)Holes.Anthony Peressini - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (1):102-111.

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