Abstract Expressionism and the Communication Problem

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (3):599-620 (2014)
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Abstract

Some philosophers have recently suggested that the reason mathematics is useful in science is that it expands our expressive capacities. Of these philosophers, only Stephen Yablo has put forward a detailed account of how mathematics brings this advantage. In this article, I set out Yablo’s view and argue that it is implausible. Then, I introduce a simpler account and show it is a serious rival to Yablo’s. 1 Introduction2 Yablo’s Expressionism3 Psychological Objections to Yablo’s Expressionism4 Introducing Belief Expressionism5 Objections and Replies5.1 Yablo’s likely response5.2 Charity6 Conclusion

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David Liggins
University of Manchester

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