more from Kit Fine

Single Idea 12209

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / a. Mathematical empiricism]

Full Idea

Arguments such as the dispensability argument are attempting to show something about the essentially non-numerical character of physical reality, rather than something about the nature or non-existence of the numbers themselves.

Gist of Idea

The indispensability argument shows that nature is non-numerical, not the denial of numbers


Kit Fine (The Question of Ontology [2009], p.160)

Book Reference

'Metametaphysics', ed/tr. Chalmers/Manley/Wasserman [OUP 2009], p.160

A Reaction

This is aimed at Hartry Field. If Quine was right, and we only believe in numbers because of our science, and then Field shows our science doesn't need it, then Fine would be wrong. Quine must be wrong, as well as Field.