Is the Enhanced Indispensability Argument a Useful Tool in the Hands of Platonists?
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Platonists in mathematics endeavour to prove the truthfulness of the proposal about the existence of mathematical objects. However, there have not been many explicit proofs of this proposal. One of the explicit ones is doubtlessly Baker’s Enhanced Indispensability Argument (EIA), formulated as a sort of modal syllogism. We aim at showing that the purpose of its creation – the defence of Platonist viewpoint – was not accomplished. Namely, the second premise of the Argument was imprecisely formulated, which gave space for various interpretations of the EIA. Moreover, it is not easy to perceive which of the more precise formulations of the above-mentioned premise would be acceptable. For all these reasons, it is disputable whether the EIA can be used to defend Platonist outlook. At the beginning of this century, Baker has shown that the so-called Quine-Putnam Indispensability Argument can not provide “full” platonism - a guarantee of the existence of all mathematical objects. It turns out, however, that the EIA has a similar disadvantage.
KeywordsPhilosophy of mathematics Platonism Enhanced indispensability argument Baker
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