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Indispensability, causation and explanation

Bangu, Sorin (2018) Indispensability, causation and explanation. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 33 (2). pp. 219-232. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

When considering mathematical realism, some scientific realists reject it, and express sympathy for the opposite view, mathematical nominalism; moreover, many justify this option by invoking the causal inertness of mathematical objects. The main aim of this note is to show that the scientific realists’ endorsement of this causal mathematical nominalism is in tension with another position some (many?) of them also accept, the doctrine of methodological naturalism. By highlighting this conflict, I intend to tip the balance in favor of a rival of mathematical nominalism, the mathematical realist position supported by the ‘Indispensability Argument’ – but I do this indirectly, by showing that the road toward it is not blocked by considerations from causation.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Bangu, Sorinsorin.bangu@uib.no
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: mathematics, indispensability, realism, causation, explanation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Ontology
General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email theoria@ehu.es
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2018 17:59
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2018 17:59
Item ID: 14793
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1387/theoria.17619
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Ontology
General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Date: May 2018
Page Range: pp. 219-232
Volume: 33
Number: 2
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14793

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