Should scientific realists be platonists?

Synthese 193 (2):435-449 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Enhanced indispensability arguments claim that Scientific Realists are committed to the existence of mathematical entities due to their reliance on Inference to the best explanation. Our central question concerns this purported parity of reasoning: do people who defend the EIA make an appropriate use of the resources of Scientific Realism to achieve platonism? We argue that just because a variety of different inferential strategies can be employed by Scientific Realists does not mean that ontological conclusions concerning which things we should be Scientific Realists about are arrived at by any inferential route which eschews causes, and nor is there any direct pressure for Scientific Realists to change their inferential methods. We suggest that in order to maintain inferential parity with Scientific Realism, proponents of EIA need to give details about how and in what way the presence of mathematical entities directly contribute to explanations



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,642

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

39 (#421,600)

6 months
262 (#9,342)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Joe Morrison
University of Sheffield
Jacob Busch
University of Aarhus

References found in this work

How the laws of physics lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
Science Without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism.Hartry H. Field - 1980 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.

View all 65 references / Add more references