Activities per year
Abstract
Mary Leng offers a defence of mathematical fictionalism, arguing that we have no reason to believe that there are any mathematical objects. In mounting this defence she responds to the indispensability argument for the existence of mathematical objects, arguably the most pressing challenge that fictionalists must face. According to the indispensability argument, we ought to believe that there are such things as numbers, functions, and sets, since claims whose truth would require the existence of such things are indispensable in the formulation of our best scientific theories. In response to this argument, Leng offers an account of the role of mathematics in empirical science that does not assume that the mathematical hypotheses used in formulating our scientific theories are true.
Original language  English 

Publisher  Oxford University Press 
Number of pages  278 
ISBN (Print)  9780199674688 
Publication status  Published  2010 
Keywords
 mathematics
 philosophy
 indispensability
 Quine
 Putnam
 fictionalism
 science
 realism

Logic Seminar, University of Cambridge
Mary Leng (Invited speaker)
20 Jan 2011Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Seminar/workshop/course

Fictionalism
Mary Leng (Invited speaker)
15 Sep 2009 → 18 Sep 2009Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Conference participation