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Weaseling and the Content of Science

Mind 121 (484):997-1005 (2012)

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  1. The Indispensability of Mathematics.Mark Colyvan - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    This book not only outlines the indispensability argument in considerable detail but also defends it against various challenges.
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  • An Alleged Analogy Between Numbers and Propositions.Tim Crane - 1990 - Analysis 50 (4):224-230.
    A Commonplace of recent philosophy of mind is that intentional states are relations between thinkers and propositions. This thesis-call it the 'Relational Thesis'-does not depend on any specific theory of propositions. One can hold it whether one believes that propositions are Fregean Thoughts, ordered n-tuples of objects and properties or sets of possible worlds. An assumption that all these theories of propositions share is that propositions are abstract objects, without location in space or time...
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  • Weaseling Away the Indispensability Argument.J. Melia - 2000 - Mind 109 (435):455-480.
    According to the indispensability argument, the fact that we quantify over numbers, sets and functions in our best scientific theories gives us reason for believing that such objects exist. I examine a strategy to dispense with such quantification by simply replacing any given platonistic theory by the set of sentences in the nominalist vocabulary it logically entails. I argue that, as a strategy, this response fails: for there is no guarantee that the nominalist world that go beyond the set of (...)
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  • Survey Article. Listening to Fictions: A Study of Fieldian Nominalism.F. MacBride - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (3):431-455.
    One cannot escape the feeling that these mathematical formulae have an independent existence and an intelligence of their own, that they are wiser than we are, wiser even than their discoverers.
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  • Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics.John P. Burgess & Mark Balaguer - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (1):79.
    Mathematics tells us there exist infinitely many prime numbers. Nominalist philosophy, introduced by Goodman and Quine, tells us there exist no numbers at all, and so no prime numbers. Nominalists are aware that the assertion of the existence of prime numbers is warranted by the standards of mathematical science; they simply reject scientific standards of warrant.
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  • Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics.Mark Balaguer - 1998 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):239-242.
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  • Listening to Fictions: A Study of Fieldian Nominalism.Fraser MacBride - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (3):431--55.
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  • Moral Fictionalism Versus the Rest.Daniel Nolan, Greg Restall & Caroline West - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (3):307 – 330.
    In this paper we introduce a distinct metaethical position, fictionalism about morality. We clarify and defend the position, showing that it is a way to save the 'moral phenomena' while agreeing that there is no genuine objective prescriptivity to be described by moral terms. In particular, we distinguish moral fictionalism from moral quasi-realism, and we show that fictionalism possesses the virtues of quasi-realism about morality, but avoids its vices.
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  • There is No Easy Road to Nominalism.M. Colyvan - 2010 - Mind 119 (474):285-306.
    Hartry Field has shown us a way to be nominalists: we must purge our scientific theories of quantification over abstracta and we must prove the appropriate conservativeness results. This is not a path for the faint hearted. Indeed, the substantial technical difficulties facing Field's project have led some to explore other, easier options. Recently, Jody Azzouni, Joseph Melia, and Stephen Yablo have argued that it is a mistake to read our ontological commitments simply from what the quantifiers of our best (...)
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  • Response to Colyvan.Joseph Melia - 2002 - Mind 111 (441):75-80.
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  • On What There's Not.Joseph Melia - 1995 - Analysis 55 (4):223 - 229.
    (1) The average Mum has 2.4 children. (2) The number of Argle’s fingers equals the number of Bargle’s toes. (3) There are two possible ways in which Joe could win this chess game. In the right contexts, and outside the philosophy room, all the above sentences may be completely uncontroversial. For instance, if we know that Joe could win either by exchanging queens and entering an endgame, or by initiating a kingside attack then, if ignorant of Quine’s work on ontology, (...)
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  • Science Without Numbers: A Defense of Nominalism.Hartry H. Field - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (9):523-534.
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  • New Essays on the A Priori.Paul Boghossian & Christopher Peacocke - 2002 - Mind 111 (443):647-652.
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  • Deflating Existential Consequence: A Case for Nominalism.Jody Azzouni - 2004 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 10 (4):573-577.
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  • A Priority and Existence.Stephen Yablo - 2000 - In Paul Boghossian & Christopher Peacocke (eds.), New Essays on the a Priori. Oxford University Press. pp. 197.
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  • Contemporary Readings in the Foundations of Metaphysics.Stephen Laurence & Cynthia Macdonald (eds.) - 1998 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This volume is a comprehensive survey of contemporary thought on a wide range of issues and provides students with the basic background to current debates in metaphysics.
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  • Field's Programme: Some Interference.Joseph Melia - 1998 - Analysis 58 (2):63–71.
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  • The Conservativeness of Mathematics.J. Melia - 2006 - Analysis 66 (3):202-208.
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  • Mathematical Explanation and Indispensability Arguments.Chris Daly & Simon Langford - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):641-658.
    We defend Joseph Melia's thesis that the role of mathematics in scientific theory is to 'index' quantities, and that even if mathematics is indispensable to scientific explanations of concrete phenomena, it does not explain any of those phenomena. This thesis is defended against objections by Mark Colyvan and Alan Baker.
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  • New Essays on the A Priori.Paul Boghossian & Christopher Peacocke (eds.) - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    A stellar line-up of leading philosophers from around the world offer new treatments of a topic which has long been central to philosophical debate, and in ...
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  • Theories of Meaning and Learnable Languages.Donald Davidson - 1965 - In Yehoshua Bar-Hillel (ed.), Proceedings of the International Congress for Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science. North-Holland. pp. 3--17.
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