The Indispensability Argument for Mathematical Realism and Scientific Realism

  • Jacob Busch


Confirmational holism is central to a traditional formulation of the indispensability argument for mathematical realism (IA). I argue that recent strategies for defending scientific realism are incompatible with confirmational holism. Thus a traditional formulation of IA is incompatible with recent strategies for defending scientific realism. As a consequence a traditional formulation of IA will only have limited appeal.


Indispensability Scientific realism Confirmational holism 



I wish to thank Ioannis Votsis for his encouraging feedback on an early version of this article. I would also like to thank Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen, James McAllister and two anonymous referees for this journal for their useful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyAarhus CDenmark

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