Abstract expressionism and the communication problem

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Some philosophers have recently suggested that the reason mathematics is useful in science is that it expands our expressive capacities. Of these philosophers, only Stephen Yablo has put forward a detailed account of how mathematics brings this advantage. In this article, I set out Yablo's view and argue that it is implausible. Then, I introduce a simpler account and show it is a serious rival to Yablo's. 1) Introduction, 2) Yablo's Expressionism, 3) Psychological Objections to Yablo's Expressionism, 4) Introducing Belief Expressionism, 5) Objections and Replies, 5.1) Yablo's likely response, 5.2) Charity 6 Conclusion. © 2013 The Author 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-620
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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