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Putnam’s indispensability argument revisited, reassessed, revived

Bueno, Otávio (2018) Putnam’s indispensability argument revisited, reassessed, revived. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 33 (2). pp. 201-218. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

Crucial to Hilary Putnam’s realism in the philosophy of mathematics is to maintain the objectivity of mathematics without the commitment to the existence of mathematical objects. Putnam’s indispensability argument was devised as part of this conception. In this paper, I reconstruct and reassess Putnam’s argument for the indispensability of mathematics, and distinguish it from the more familiar, Quinean version of the argument. Although I argue that Putnam’s approach ultimately fails, I develop an alternative way of implementing his form of realism about mathematics that, by using different resources than those Putnam invokes, avoids the difficulties faced by his view.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Bueno, Otáviootaviobueno@mac.com
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: Indispensability, Ontological Commitment, Objectivity, Platonism, Modalism, Putnam
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Applicability
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Ontology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
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: 14792
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: http://www.ehu.eus/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/v...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.18473
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Applicability
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Ontology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Date: May 2018
Page Range: pp. 201-218
Volume: 33
Number: 2
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14792

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