Indexing and Mathematical Explanation

Philosophia Mathematica 19 (3):323-334 (2011)
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 Langford find themselves in conflict with mathematical and scientific practice.
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DOI 10.1093/philmat/nkr026
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References found in this work BETA
Alan Baker (2009). Mathematical Explanation in Science. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):611-633.
Robert Batterman (2010). On the Explanatory Role of Mathematics in Empirical Science. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):1-25.

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Alan Baker (2009). Mathematical Explanation in Science. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):611-633.
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