# Inference to the best explanation and mathematical realism

*Synthese*160 (1):13-20 (2008)

**Abstract**

Arguing for mathematical realism on the basis of Field’s explanationist version of the Quine–Putnam Indispensability argument, Alan Baker has recently claimed to have found an instance of a genuine mathematical explanation of a physical phenomenon. While I agree that Baker presents a very interesting example in which mathematics plays an essential explanatory role, I show that this example, and the argument built upon it, begs the question against the mathematical nominalist

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BANITT

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Archival date: 2017-11-18

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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Cartwright, Nancy

The Indispensability of Mathematics.Colyvan, Mark

The Scientific Image.Friedman, Michael

Realism, Mathematics and Modality.Field, Hartry

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Citations of this work BETA

Mathematical Explanation in Science.Baker, Alan

Mathematical Explanation by Law.Baron, Sam

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2009-01-28

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