An anti-realist account of the application of mathematics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mathematical concepts play at least three roles in the application of mathematics: an inferential role, a representational role, and an expressive role. In this paper, I argue that, despite what has often been alleged, platonists do not fully accommodate these features of the application of mathematics. At best, platonism provides partial ways of handling the issues. I then sketch an alternative, anti-realist account of the application of mathematics, and argue that this account manages to accommodate these features of the application process. In this way, a better account of mathematical applications is, in principle, available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalPhilosophical Studies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 8 2016

Keywords

  • Anti-realism
  • Application of mathematics
  • Inference,
  • Nominalism
  • Platonism
  • Realism
  • Representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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