Empiricism, conservativeness, and quasi-truth

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14 Scopus citations


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)
Pages (from-to)S474-S485
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number3 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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