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UID:/NewsandEvents/Archives/2009/newsitem/2675/23-
January-2009-Workshop-Explanation-Indispensability
-of-Mathematics-and-Scientific-Realism-Leeds-U-K-
DTSTAMP:20081221T000000
SUMMARY:Workshop "Explanation, Indispensability of
Mathematics, and Scientific Realism", Leeds, U.K
.
DTSTART;VALUE=DATE:20090123
DTEND;VALUE=DATE:20090123
LOCATION:Leeds, U.K.
DESCRIPTION:This is a workshop on current perspect
ives on the indispensability argument for mathemat
ical platonism. Many scientic realists are willing
to commit to various esoteric unobservable featur
es of the world, but at the same time they treat m
athematical platonism with great suspicion. Accord
ing to the indispensability argument such preferen
ce for concrete theoretical posits is unjustified,
because mathematics plays an indispensable role i
n scientific theorising. The present state of de
bate turns on an attempt at a more precise charact
erisation of mathematics's role in our best scienc
e. In particular, it has been argued that the expl
anatory function of mathematics is decisive here,
given the realist's reliance on inference to the b
est explanation in defending realism about unobser
vable concreta. If mathematical entities can play
a bona fide explanatory role in science, then argu
ably commitment to those entities follows by infer
ence to the best explanation. For more informa
tion, see here or contact Juha Saatsi at J.T.Saats
i at leeds.ac.uk.
X-ALT-DESC;FMTTYPE=text/html:\n This is a
workshop on current perspectives on the indispensa
bility\n argument for mathematical platonis
m. Many scientic realists are\n willing to
commit to various esoteric unobservable features o
f the\n world, but at the same time they tr
eat mathematical platonism with\n great sus
picion. According to the indispensability argument
such\n preference for concrete theoretical
posits is unjustified, because\n mathemati
cs plays an indispensable role in scientific theor
ising.\n

\n The present state of
debate turns on an attempt at a more precise\n
characterisation of mathematics's role in our
best science. In\n particular, it has been
argued that the explanatory function of\n m
athematics is decisive here, given the realist's r
eliance on\n inference to the best explanat
ion in defending realism about\n unobservab
le concreta. If mathematical entities can play a b
ona fide\n explanatory role in science, the
n arguably commitment to those\n entities f
ollows by inference to the best explanation.\n

\n \n

\n \n For
more information, see here\n or contact Juha Saats
i at J.T.Saatsi
at leeds.ac.uk.\n

URL:/NewsandEvents/Archives/2009/newsitem/2675/23-
January-2009-Workshop-Explanation-Indispensability
-of-Mathematics-and-Scientific-Realism-Leeds-U-K-
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