Mathematics, Explanatory Generality, and Ontological CommitmentJuha Saatsi (University of Leeds)
Sala Enzo Paci
via Festa del Perdono 7
According to the ‘enhanced’ indispensability argument for platonism, mathematics contributes to the explanatory power of some empirical explan- ations. Nominalists have denied that mathematics plays this kind of explan- atory role. In this paper we show that while the platonists are correct in saying that mathematics can boost an explanation’s explanatory power, they are wrong in thinking that this supports mathematical platonism. Nominalists need not deny that mathematics can make a real contribution to explanations’ explanatoriness, since the kind of contribution that mathematics makes can be accommodated in nominalist terms.
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