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Science without Numbers - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Science without Numbers

Hartry Field


The book argues that there is no reason to believe in the existence of mathematical entities, or the literal truth of mathematics, and in particular that physical theory does not require this. The explanation of the utility of mathematics in describing the physical world does not require that the mathematics be true, but only little more than it be consistent. Physical theories are best presented in an intrinsic manner that does not require any reference to mathematical entities. This volume is a reprinting of a book from 1980 with an extensive new Preface discussing issues that have arisen si ... More

Keywords: nominalism, conservativeness, representation theorems, logic, intrinsic facts and explanations, theoretical dispensability

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198777915
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198777915.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Hartry Field, author
New York University