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Ideas of Elliott Sober, by Text

[American, fl. 1990, Professor at Wisconsin-Madison, then Toronto University.]

1993 Mathematics and Indispensibility
45 p.128 All scientific tests will verify mathematics, so it is a background, not something being tested
     Full Idea: If mathematical statements are part of every competing hypothesis, then no matter which hypothesis comes out best in the light of observations, they will be part of the best hypothesis. They are not tested, but are a background assumption.
     From: Elliott Sober (Mathematics and Indispensibility [1993], 45), quoted by Charles Chihara - A Structural Account of Mathematics
     A reaction: This is a very nice objection to the Quine-Putnam thesis that mathematics is confirmed by the ongoing successes of science.