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Synthese

, Volume 160, Issue 1, pp 13–20 | Cite as

Inference to the best explanation and mathematical realism

  • Sorin Ioan BanguEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Arguing for mathematical realism on the basis of Field’s explanationist version of the Quine–Putnam Indispensability argument, Alan Baker has recently claimed to have found an instance of a genuine mathematical explanation of a physical phenomenon. While I agree that Baker presents a very interesting example in which mathematics plays an essential explanatory role, I show that this example, and the argument built upon it, begs the question against the mathematical nominalist.

Keywords

Mathematics Explanation Realism Nominalism 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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