# Response to Colyvan

@article{Melia2002ResponseTC, title={Response to Colyvan}, author={Joseph Melia}, journal={Mind}, year={2002}, volume={111}, pages={75-80} }

In 'Weaseling Away the Indispensability Argument' (Melia 2000) I argued that although quantification over mathematical objects may indeed be indispensable to our scientific theories, it is not always intellectually dishonest to deny the existence of some of the objects over which we quantify. I argued also that, though the postulation of mathematical objects may increase the attractiveness or utility of our scientific theories, the way in which they do so is unlike the way in which the… Expand

#### 63 Citations

Mathematical surrealism as an alternative to easy-road fictionalism

- 2020

Easy-road mathematical fictionalists grant for the sake of argument that quantification over mathematical entities is indispensable to some of our best scientific theories and explanations. Even so… Expand

The Honest Weasel A Guide for Successful Weaseling

- Psychology
- 2020

Abstract Indispensability arguments are among the strongest arguments in support of mathematical realism. Given the controversial nature of their conclusions, it is not surprising that critics have… Expand

Should scientific realists be platonists?

- Philosophy, Computer Science
- Synthese
- 2015

It is suggested that in order to maintain inferential parity with Scientific Realism, proponents of EIA need to give details about how and in what way the presence of mathematical entities directly contribute to explanations. Expand

How Not to Enhance the Indispensability Argument

- 2014

The new explanatory or enhanced indispensability argument alleges that our mathematical beliefs are justified by their indispensable appearances in scientific explanations. This argument differs from… Expand

Living in Harmony: Nominalism and the Explanationist Argument for Realism

- Philosophy
- 2007

According to the indispensability argument, scientific realists ought to believe in the existence of mathematical entities, due to their indispensable role in theorising. Arguably the crucial sense… Expand

The explanatory dispensability of idealizations

- Philosophy, Computer Science
- Synthese
- 2014

It is argued that the explanatory symmetry between idealizations and mathematics can potentially be broken: although idealizations contribute to the explanatory power of the authors' best theories, they do not carry the explanatory load. Expand

Non-naturalistic moral explanation

- Computer Science, Psychology
- Synthese
- 2019

This work argues that the moral nonnaturalist places herself in an invidious position if she simply accepts that the nonnatural moral facts that she posits are not explanatory, and offers the non naturalist an alternative strategy for dealing with moral explanations. Expand

Nominalist's credo

- Philosophy
- 2013

Introduction: I lay out the broad contours of my thesis: a defence of mathematical nominalism, and nominalism more generally. I discuss the possibility of metaphysics, and the relationship of… Expand

Is the Indispensability Argument Dispensable

- Philosophy
- 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… Expand

Good weasel hunting

- Philosophy, Computer Science
- Synthese
- 2015

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. Expand

#### References

SHOWING 1-5 OF 5 REFERENCES

Weaseling away the indispensability argument

- 2000

According to the indispensability argument, the fact that we quantify over numbers, sets and functions in our best scientific theories gives us reason for believing that such objects exist. I examine… Expand

Confirmation Theory and Indispensability

- Philosophy
- 1999

In this paper I examine Quine's indispensability argument, with particular emphasis on what is meant by 'indispensable'. I show that confirmation theory plays a crucial role in answering this… Expand

Informal Rigour and Completeness Proofs

- Mathematics
- 1967

Publisher Summary This chapter demonstrates the informal rigor and completeness proofs in mathematical philosophy. Informal rigor makes the analysis precise to eliminate the doubtful properties of… Expand