Synthese 196 (5):1963-1990 (2019)

Authors
Elay Shech
Auburn University
Abstract
It has been recently debated whether there exists a so-called “easy road” to nominalism. In this essay, I attempt to fill a lacuna in the debate by making a connection with the literature on infinite and infinitesimal idealization in science through an example from mathematical physics that has been largely ignored by philosophers. Specifically, by appealing to John Norton’s distinction between idealization and approximation, I argue that the phenomena of fractional quantum statistics bears negatively on Mary Leng’s proposed path to easy road nominalism, thereby partially defending Mark Colyvan’s claim that there is no easy road to nominalism.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-1680-4
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References found in this work BETA

Minimal Model Explanations.Robert W. Batterman & Collin C. Rice - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):349-376.
Mathematical Explanation in Science.Alan Baker - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):611-633.

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Infinite Idealizations in Physics.Elay Shech - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12514.

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