Putnam and contemporary fictionalism



Published 20-06-2018
Concha Martínez-Vidal


In his "Indispensability arguments in mathematics", Putnam rejects having argued in the terms of the argument known in the literature as "the Quine-Putnam indispensability argument". He considers that mathematics contribution to physics does not have to be interpreted in platonist terms but in his favorite modal variety (Putnam 1975; Putnam 2012).

The purpose of this paper is to consider Putnam's acknowledged argument and philosophical position against contemporary so called in the literature 'fictionalist' views about applied mathematics.

The conclusion will be that the account of the applicability of mathematics that stems from Putnam's acknowledged argument can be assimilated in many aspects to so-called 'fictionalist' views about applied mathematics. 

How to Cite

Martínez-Vidal, C. (2018). Putnam and contemporary fictionalism. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 33(2), 165–181. https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.17610
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Putnam, indispensability, fictionalism, Yablo, Field