Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Mathematics and Reality$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mary Leng

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280797

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280797.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 October 2020

Naturalism and Ontology

Naturalism and Ontology

(p.20) 2 Naturalism and Ontology
Mathematics and Reality

Mary Leng (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter clarifies and motivates the naturalist premise of the indispensability argument, which holds that we should look to our best scientific theories to discover what we have reason to believe. It distinguishes Quinean naturalism from an even more modest form of naturalism, according to which philosophers should hold back from questioning the truth of utterances made in the context of successful scientific theorizing. And it considers the debate between Carnap and Quine over ontological questions, following Quine in accepting that practical reasons to speak as if there are Fs can sometimes be viewed as providing evidence for the existence of Fs. It notes that Quine's claim that practical reasons are always evidential can only be plausible when applied to our best scientific theories, from which merely practical ways of speaking have been ironed out, hence the focus on the indispensability of mathematics to our best theories.

Keywords:   naturalism, ontology, philosophical modesty, Rudolf Carnap, W. V. O. Quine, practical, evidential

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .