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  1. Jeremy Avigad (2010). Understanding, Formal Verification, and the Philosophy of Mathematics. Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research 27:161-197.
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  2. A. Baker (2010). Mathematical Induction and Explanation. Analysis 70 (4):681-689.
  3. Alan Baker (2005). Are There Genuine Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena? Mind 114 (454):223-238.
    Many explanations in science make use of mathematics. But are there cases where the mathematical component of a scientific explanation is explanatory in its own right? This issue of mathematical explanations in science has been for the most part neglected. I argue that there are genuine mathematical explanations in science, and present in some detail an example of such an explanation, taken from evolutionary biology, involving periodical cicadas. I also indicate how the answer to my title question impacts on broader (...)
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  4. Alan Baker & Mark Colyvan (2011). Indexing and Mathematical Explanation. Philosophia Mathematica 19 (3):323-334.
    We discuss a recent attempt by Chris Daly and Simon Langford to do away with mathematical explanations of physical phenomena. Daly and Langford suggest that mathematics merely indexes parts of the physical world, and on this understanding of the role of mathematics in science, there is no need to countenance mathematical explanation of physical facts. We argue that their strategy is at best a sketch and only looks plausible in simple cases. We also draw attention to how frequently Daly and (...)
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  5. Sorin Ioan Bangu (2008). Inference to the Best Explanation and Mathematical Realism. Synthese 160 (1):13-20.
    Arguing for mathematical realism on the basis of Field’s explanationist version of the Quine–Putnam Indispensability argument, Alan Baker has recently claimed to have found an instance of a genuine mathematical explanation of a physical phenomenon. While I agree that Baker presents a very interesting example in which mathematics plays an essential explanatory role, I show that this example, and the argument built upon it, begs the question against the mathematical nominalist.
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  6. Justin Clarke-Doane (2008). Multiple Reductions Revisited. Philosophia Mathematica 16 (2):244-255.
    Paul Benacerraf's argument from multiple reductions consists of a general argument against realism about the natural numbers (the view that numbers are objects), and a limited argument against reductionism about them (the view that numbers are identical with prima facie distinct entities). There is a widely recognized and severe difficulty with the former argument, but no comparably recognized such difficulty with the latter. Even so, reductionism in mathematics continues to thrive. In this paper I develop a difficulty for Benacerraf's argument (...)
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  7. Don Fallis, What Do Mathematicians Want? Probabilistic Proofs and the Epistemic Goals of Mathematicians.
    Several philosophers have used the framework of means/ends reasoning to explain the methodological choices made by scientists and mathematicians (see, e.g., Goldman 1999, Levi 1962, Maddy 1997). In particular, they have tried to identify the epistemic objectives of scientists and mathematicians that will explain these choices. In this paper, the framework of means/ends reasoning is used to study an important methodological choice made by mathematicians. Namely, mathematicians will only use deductive proofs to establish the truth of mathematical claims. In this (...)
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  8. Mihai Ganea (2008). Epistemic Optimism. Philosophia Mathematica 16 (3):333-353.
    Michael Dummett's argument for intuitionism can be criticized for the implicit reliance on the existence of what might be called absolutely undecidable statements. Neil Tennant attacks epistemic optimism, the view that there are no such statements. I expose what seem serious flaws in his attack, and I suggest a way of defending the use of classical logic in arithmetic that circumvents the issue of optimism. I would like to thank an anonymous referee for helpful comments. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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  9. David S. Henley (1995). Syntax-Directed Discovery in Mathematics. Erkenntnis 43 (2):241 - 259.
    It is shown how mathematical discoveries such as De Moivre's theorem can result from patterns among the symbols of existing formulae and that significant mathematical analogies are often syntactic rather than semantic, for the good reason that mathematical proofs are always syntactic, in the sense of employing only formal operations on symbols. This radically extends the Lakatos approach to mathematical discovery by allowing proof-directed concepts to generate new theorems from scratch instead of just as evolutionary modifications to some existing theorem. (...)
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  10. Miguel Hoeltje, Benjamin Schnieder & Alex Steinberg (2013). Explanation by Induction? Synthese 190 (3):509-524.
    Philosophers of mathematics commonly distinguish between explanatory and non-explanatory proofs. An important subclass of mathematical proofs are proofs by induction. Are they explanatory? This paper addresses the question, based on general principles about explanation. First, a recent argument for a negative answer is discussed and rebutted. Second, a case is made for a qualified positive take on the issue.
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  11. John Kadvany (2003). Letters. Philosophia Mathematica 11 (3):364-364.
    A brief correction to a review of my book Imre Lakatos and the Guises of Reason published in Philosophia Mathematica, regarding the role of George Polya's notion of heuristic in Lakatos' Proofs and Refutations.
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  12. Robert Kraut (2001). Metaphysical Explanation and the Philosophy of Mathematics: Reflections on Jerrold Katz's Realistic Rationalism. Philosophia Mathematica 9 (2):154-183.
    Mathematical practice prompts theories about aprioricity, necessity, abstracta, and non-causal epistemic connections. But it is not clear what to count as the data: mathematical necessity or the appearance of mathematical necessity, abstractness or apparent abstractness, a prioricity or apparent aprioricity. Nor is it clear whether traditional metaphysical theories provide explanation or idle redescription. This paper suggests that abstract objects, rather than doing explanatory work, provide codifications of the data to be explained. It also suggests that traditional rivals—conceptualism, nominalism, realism—engage different (...)
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  13. Imre Lakatos (1976). Proofs and Refutations: The Logic of Mathematical Discovery. Cambridge University Press.
    Proofs and Refutations is essential reading for all those interested in the methodology, the philosophy and the history of mathematics. Much of the book takes the form of a discussion between a teacher and his students. They propose various solutions to some mathematical problems and investigate the strengths and weaknesses of these solutions. Their discussion (which mirrors certain real developments in the history of mathematics) raises some philosophical problems and some problems about the nature of mathematical discovery or creativity. Imre (...)
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  14. M. Lange (2010). What Are Mathematical Coincidences (and Why Does It Matter)? Mind 119 (474):307-340.
    Although all mathematical truths are necessary, mathematicians take certain combinations of mathematical truths to be ‘coincidental’, ‘accidental’, or ‘fortuitous’. The notion of a ‘mathematical coincidence’ has so far failed to receive sufficient attention from philosophers. I argue that a mathematical coincidence is not merely an unforeseen or surprising mathematical result, and that being a misleading combination of mathematical facts is neither necessary nor sufficient for qualifying as a mathematical coincidence. I argue that although the components of a mathematical coincidence may (...)
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  15. Joe Morrison (2012). Evidential Holism and Indispensability Arguments. Erkenntnis 76 (2):263-278.
    The indispensability argument is a method for showing that abstract mathematical objects exist (call this mathematical Platonism). Various versions of this argument have been proposed (§1). Lately, commentators seem to have agreed that a holistic indispensability argument (§2) will not work, and that an explanatory indispensability argument is the best candidate. In this paper I argue that the dominant reasons for rejecting the holistic indispensability argument are mistaken. This is largely due to an overestimation of the consequences that follow from (...)
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  16. Juha Saatsi (2012). Mathematics and Program Explanations. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):579-584.
    Aidan Lyon has recently argued that some mathematical explanations of empirical facts can be understood as program explanations. I present three objections to his argument.
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  17. Mark Steiner (1978). Mathematics, Explanation, and Scientific Knowledge. Noûs 12 (1):17-28.
  18. Jean Paul Van Bendegem (2006). Review of P. Mancosu, K. F. Jørgensen, and S. A. Pedersen (Eds.), Visualization, Explanation and Reasoning Styles in Mathematics. [REVIEW] Philosophia Mathematica 14 (3):378-391.