The indispensability of mathematics

Colyvan, Mark The indispensability of mathematics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press, 2001. doi:10.1093/019513754X.001.0001

Author Colyvan, Mark
Title The indispensability of mathematics
Place of Publication New York, USA
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication year 2001
Sub-type Other
DOI 10.1093/019513754X.001.0001
ISBN 019513754X
Language eng
Total number of pages 172
Subjects 21 History and Archaeology
01 Mathematical Sciences
Abstract/Summary Looks at the Quine–Putnam indispensability argument in the philosophy of mathematics. This argument urges us to place mathematical entities on the same ontological footing as other theoretical entities indispensable to our best scientific theories. The indispensability argument has come under serious scrutiny in recent times, with many influential philosophers unconvinced of its cogency. This book outlines the indispensability argument in considerable detail, before defending it against various challenges.Although the focus is squarely on the indispensability argument, in order to appreciate the argument's full force, it is necessary to consider many other interesting and related topics. These include questions about ontological commitments and the applications of mathematics to physical theories. Of particular interest here is the Quinean backdrop from which the indispensability argument emerges. This backdrop consists of the doctrines of holism and naturalism. The latter is crucial to the whole indispensability debate, so a considerable portion of this work is spent discussing naturalism.
Q-Index Code AX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Book
Collection: School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Created: Mon, 03 Apr 2006, 21:29:50 EST