Empiricism, conservativeness, and quasi-truth

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Abstract

A first step is taken towards articulating a constructive empiricist philosophy of mathematics, thus extending van Fraassen's account to this domain. In order to do so, I adapt Field's nominalization program, making it compatible with an empiricist stance. Two changes are introduced: (a) Instead of taking conservativeness as the norm of mathematics, the empiricist countenances the weaker notion of quasi-truth (as formulated by da Costa and French), from which the formal properties of conservativeness are derived; (b) Instead of quantifying over spacetime regions, the empiricist only admits quantification over occupied regions, since this is enough for his or her needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume66
Issue number3 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy

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