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Patrick Dieveney [7]Patrick S. Dieveney [1]
  1. Dispensability in the Indispensability Argument.Patrick S. Dieveney - 2007 - Synthese 157 (1):105-128.
    One of the most influential arguments for realism about mathematical objects is the indispensability argument. Simply put, this is the argument that insofar as we are committed to the existence of the physical objects existentially quantified over in our best scientific theories, we are also committed to the mathematical objects existentially quantified over in these theories. Following the Quine–Putnam formulation of the indispensability argument, some proponents of the indispensability argument have made the mistake of taking confirmational holism to be an (...)
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  2. In Defense of Quinean Ontological Naturalism.Patrick Dieveney - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (2):225-242.
    Quinean Ontological Naturalism addresses the question “What is there?” Advocates of the view maintain that we can answer this question by applying Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment to our best scientific theories. In this paper, I discuss two major objections that are commonly offered to this view, what I call the “Paraphrase Objection” and “First Philosophy Objection”. I argue that these objections arise from a common uncharitable characterization of the Quinean Ontological Naturalist’s project that fails to distinguish two distinct roles (...)
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  3.  52
    Anything and Everything.Patrick Dieveney - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):119 - 140.
    Some novel solutions to problems in mathematics and philosophy involve employing schemas rather than quantified expressions to formulate certain propositions. Crucial to these solutions is an insistence that schematic generality is distinct from quantificational generality. Although many concede that schemas and quantified expressions function differently, the dominant view appears to be that the generality expressed by the former is ultimately reducible to the latter. In this paper, I argue against this view, which I call the 'Reductionist view'. But instead of (...)
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    The Honest Weasel A Guide for Successful Weaseling.Patrick Dieveney - 2020 - Disputatio 12 (56):41-69.
    Indispensability arguments are among the strongest arguments in support of mathematical realism. Given the controversial nature of their conclusions, it is not surprising that critics have supplied a number of rejoinders to these arguments. In this paper, I focus on one such rejoinder, Melia’s ‘Weasel Response’. The weasel is someone who accepts that scientific theories imply that there are mathematical objects, but then proceeds to ‘take back’ this commitment. While weaseling seems improper, accounts supplied in the literature have failed to (...)
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  5. Ontological Infidelity.Patrick Dieveney - 2008 - Synthese 165 (1):1 - 12.
    In ethical discourse, it is common practice to distinguish between normative commitments and descriptive commitments. Normative commitments reflect what a person ought to be committed to, whereas descriptive commitments reflect what a person actually is committed to. While the normative/descriptive distinction is widely accepted as a way of talking about ethical commitments, philosophers have missed this distinction in discussing ontological commitments. In this paper, I distinguish between descriptive ontological commitments and normative ontological commitments and discuss several significant benefits of recognizing (...)
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  6.  23
    Scientific Explanation, Unifying Mathematics, and Indispensability Arguments.Patrick Dieveney - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    Indispensability arguments occupy a prominent role in discussions of mathematical realism. While different versions of these arguments are discussed in the literature, their general structure remains the same. These arguments contend that insofar as reference to mathematical objects is indispensable to science, we are committed to the existence of these ‘objects’. Unsurprisingly, much of the debate concerning indispensability arguments focuses on the crucial contention that mathematical objects are indispensable to science. For these arguments to provide support for mathematical realism, what (...)
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    Quantification and Metaphysical Discourse.Patrick Dieveney - 2014 - Theoria 80 (4):292-318.
    It is common in metaphysical discourse to make claims like “Everything is self-identical” in which “everything” is intended to range over everything. This sort of “unrestricted” generality appears central to metaphysical discourse. But there is debate whether such generality, which appears to involve quantification over an all-inclusive domain, is even meaningful. To address this concern, Shaughan Lavine and Vann McGee supply competing accounts of the generality expressed by this use of “everything.” I argue that, from the perspective of the metaphysician, (...)
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  8.  16
    Review: Agustin Rayo and Gabriel Uzquiano (Eds): Absolute Generality. [REVIEW]Patrick Dieveney - 2008 - Mind 117 (467):719-722.