# Quine, Putnam, and the ‘Quine–Putnam’ Indispensability Argument

@article{Liggins2007QuinePA, title={Quine, Putnam, and the ‘Quine–Putnam’ Indispensability Argument}, author={David Liggins}, journal={Erkenntnis}, year={2007}, volume={68}, pages={113-127} }

Much recent discussion in the philosophy of mathematics has concerned the indispensability argument—an argument which aims to establish the existence of abstract mathematical objects through appealing to the role that mathematics plays in empirical science. The indispensability argument is standardly attributed to W. V. Quine and Hilary Putnam. In this paper, I show that this attribution is mistaken. Quine’s argument for the existence of abstract mathematical objects differs from the argument…

## 23 Citations

### Putnam’s indispensability argument revisited, reassessed, revived

- PhilosophyTHEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
- 2018

Crucial to Hilary Putnam’s realism in the philosophy of mathematics is to maintain the objectivity of mathematics without the commitment to the existence of mathematical objects. Putnam’s…

### Disputatio

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This paper considers Maddy’s strategy for naturalising mathematics in the context of Quine’s scientific naturalism. The aim of this proposal is to account for the acceptability of mathematics on…

### New Perspectives on Quine’s “Word and Object”

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This paper considers Maddy’s strategy for naturalising mathematics in the context of Quine’s scientific naturalism. The aim of this proposal is to account for the acceptability of mathematics on…

### Indispensability and Holism

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- 2011

It is claimed that the indispensability argument for the existence of mathematical entities (IA) works in a way that allows a proponent of mathematical realism to remain agnostic with regard to how…

### Indispensability Arguments and Their Quinean Heritage

- Philosophy
- 2012

Abstract Indispensability arguments (IA) for mathematical realism are commonly traced back to Quine. We identify two different Quinean strands in the interpretation of IA, what we label the ‘logical…

### Good weasel hunting

- PhilosophySynthese
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The purpose of this paper is to clarify Melia’s response to the indispensability argument and to advise Melia and his critics on how best to carry forward the debate.

### On Putnam’s Proof of the Impossibility of a Nominalistic Physics

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In his book Philosophy of Logic, Putnam (1971) presents a short argument which reads like—and indeed, can be reconstructed as—a formal proof that a nominalistic physics is impossible. The aim of this…

### On the Indispensable Premises of the Indispensability Argument

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- 2015

We identify four different minimal versions of the indispensability argument, falling under four different varieties: an epistemic argument for semantic realism, an epistemic argument for platonism…

### Is the Indispensability Argument Dispensable

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- 2011

When the indispensability argument for mathematical entities (IA) is spelled out, it would appear confirmational holism is needed for the argument to work. It has been argued that confirmational…

### Evidential Holism and Indispensability Arguments

- Philosophy
- 2012

The indispensability argument is a method for showing that abstract mathematical objects exist (call this mathematical Platonism). Various versions of this argument have been proposed (§1). Lately,…

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