The Indispensability of Mathematics

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Oxford University Press, Mar 22, 2001 - Philosophy - 192 pages
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The Quine-Putnam indispensability argument in the philosophy of mathematics urges us to place mathematical entities on the same ontological footing as other theoretical entities essential to our best scientific theories. Recently, the argument has come under serious scrutiny, with many influential philosophers unconvinced of its cogency. This book not only outlines the indispensability argument in considerable detail but also defends it against various challenges.
 

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Contents

1 Mathematics and Its Applications
1
2 The Quinean Backdrop
21
3 The Eleatic Principle
39
4 Fields Fictionalism
67
5 Maddys Objections
91
6 The Empirical Nature of Mathematical Knowledge
115
7 Conclusion
141
Bibliography
157
Index
169
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