60Taking mathematical fictions seriouslySynthese 95 (3). 1993.I argue on the basis of an example, Fourier theory applied to the problem of vibration, that Field's program for nominalizing science is unlikely to succeed generally, since no nominalistic variant will provide us with the kind of physical insight into the phenomena that the standard theory supplies. Consideration of the same example also shows, I argue, that some of the motivation for mathematical fictionalism, particularly the alleged problem of cognitive access, is more apparent than real.
1Mark Steiner. The applicability of mathematics as a philosophical problemPhilosophia Mathematica 8 (2): 190-213. 2000.
University of Wisconsin, MilwaukeeDepartment of PhilosophyProfessor
University of California, San Diego
Department of Philosophy
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
|General Philosophy of Science|
|Philosophy of Mathematics|
|Philosophy of Language|