Mathematics, Explanatory Generality, and Ontological Commitment
Juha Saatsi (University of Leeds)

November 20, 2017, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Department of Philosophy, Università degli Studi di Milano

Sala Enzo Paci
via Festa del Perdono 7

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


Università degli Studi di Milano
Cristian Mariani
Università degli Studi di Milano

Topic areas


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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