more from Charles Chihara

Single Idea 9566

[catalogued under 7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / e. Ontological commitment problems]

Full Idea

Evidently, no scientific explanations of specific phenomena would collapse as a result of any hypothetical discovery that no mathematical objects exist.

Gist of Idea

No scientific explanation would collapse if mathematical objects were shown not to exist


Charles Chihara (A Structural Account of Mathematics [2004], 09.1)

Book Reference

Chihara,Charles: 'A Structural Account of Mathematics' [OUP 2004], p.236

A Reaction

It is inconceivable that anyone would challenge this claim. A good model seems to be drama; a play needs commitment from actors and audience, even when we know it is fiction. The point is that mathematics doesn't collapse either.