Authors
Nathaniel Goldberg
Washington and Lee University
Abstract
W. V. Quine famously argues that though all knowledge is empirical, mathematics is entrenched relative to physics and the special sciences. Further, entrenchment accounts for the necessity of mathematics relative to these other disciplines. Michael Friedman challenges Quine’s view by appealing to historicism, the thesis that the nature of science is illuminated by taking into account its historical development. Friedman argues on historicist grounds that mathematical claims serve as principles constitutive of languages within which empirical claims in physics and the special sciences can be formulated and tested, where these mathematical claims are themselves not empirical but conventional. For Friedman, their conventional, constitutive status accounts for the necessity of mathematics relative to these other disciplines. Here I evaluate Friedman’s challenge to Quine and Quine’s likely response. I then show that though we have reason to find Friedman’s challenge successful, his positive project requires further development before we can endorse it.
Keywords analytic-synthetic distinction  Quine, W.V.  Friedman, M.  Carnap, R.  a priori  constitutive principle  historicism  Kuhn, T.  entrenchment  conventionalism
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DOI 10.1007/s10838-009-9097-x
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References found in this work BETA

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.Noam Chomsky - 1965 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Word and Object.Willard van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.

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Citations of this work BETA

Interpreting Thomas Kuhn as a Response-Dependence Theorist.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (5):729 - 752.
Davidson, Dualism, and Truth.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2012 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (7).
Hilary Putnam on Meaning and Necessity.Anders Öberg - 2011 - Dissertation, Uppsala University

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