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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- History and Philosophy of Science