In Defense of the Implicit Commitment Thesis


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


The implicit commitment thesis is the claim that believing in a mathematical theory
S carries an implicit commitment to further sentences not deductively entailed by
the theory, such as the consistency sentence Con(S). I provide a new argument for
this thesis based on the notion of mathematical certainty. I also reply to a recent
argument by Walter Dean against the implicit commitment thesis, showing that my
formulation of the thesis avoids the difficulties he raises.
Original languageEnglish
Article number51
Pages (from-to)1410-1432
JournalErgo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy
Early online date18 Jul 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Precursors of this paper go back several years, and I am grateful to the various people who have discussed these issues with me, including Steve Dalglish, Chris Pincock, Stewart Shapiro, Neil Tennant, and Dan Waxman. Thanks are also due
to several referees for both Ergo and other journals, whose comments led to an
improved paper.


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