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The Indispensability of Mathematics$
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Mark Colyvan

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195137545

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019513754X.001.0001

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Maddy's Objections

Maddy's Objections

(p.91) 5 Maddy's Objections
The Indispensability of Mathematics

Mark Colyvan

Oxford University Press

Penelope Maddy's objections to the indispensability argument are considered. In two of her objections – the objection from scientific fictions and the objection from the role of mathematics in scientific theories – it is argued that much of the force is derived from taking an implausible reading of naturalism. Moreover, this reading of naturalism is not endorsed by either Quine or Maddy. It is also argued that the third of Maddy's objections – the mathematical practice objection – turns on a misconception about Quinean holism.

Keywords:   holism, indispensability argument, Maddy, mathematical practice, naturalism, Quine

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