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  1. Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena.Sorin Bangu - forthcoming - Tandf: Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-14.
    Can there be mathematical explanations of physical phenomena? In this paper, I suggest an affirmative answer to this question. I outline a strategy to reconstruct several typical examples of such explanations, and I show that they fit a common model. The model reveals that the role of mathematics is explicatory. Isolating this role may help to re-focus the current debate on the more specific question as to whether this explicatory role is, as proposed here, also an explanatory one.
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  2. How Can Necessary Facts Call for Explanation?Dan Baras - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    While there has been much discussion about what makes some mathematical proofs more explanatory than others, and what are mathematical coincidences, in this article I explore the distinct phenomenon of mathematical facts that call for explanation. The existence of mathematical facts that call for explanation stands in tension with virtually all existing accounts of “calling for explanation”, which imply that necessary facts cannot call for explanation. In this paper I explore what theoretical revisions are needed in order to accommodate this (...)
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  3. Unification and mathematical explanation in science.Sam Baron - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    Mathematics clearly plays an important role in scientific explanation. Debate continues, however, over the kind of role that mathematics plays. I argue that if pure mathematical explananda and physical explananda are unified under a common explanation within science, then we have good reason to believe that mathematics is explanatory in its own right. The argument motivates the search for a new kind of scientific case study, a case in which pure mathematical facts and physical facts are explanatorily unified. I argue (...)
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  4. In Pursuit of the Non-Trivial.Colin R. Caret - forthcoming - Episteme:1-16.
    This paper is about the underlying logical principles of scientific theories. In particular, it concerns ex contradictione quodlibet the principle that anything follows from a contradiction. ECQ is valid according to classical logic, but invalid according to paraconsistent logics. Some advocates of paraconsistency claim that there are ‘real’ inconsistent theories that do not erupt with completely indiscriminate, absurd commitments. They take this as evidence in favor of paraconsistency. Michael calls this the non-triviality strategy. He argues that this strategy fails in (...)
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  5. Explaining Experience In Nature: The Foundations Of Logic And Apprehension.Steven Ericsson-Zenith - forthcoming - Institute for Advanced Science & Engineering.
    At its core this book is concerned with logic and computation with respect to the mathematical characterization of sentient biophysical structure and its behavior. -/- Three related theories are presented: The first of these provides an explanation of how sentient individuals come to be in the world. The second describes how these individuals operate. And the third proposes a method for reasoning about the behavior of individuals in groups. -/- These theories are based upon a new explanation of experience in (...)
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  6. The Epistemic Significance of Numerals.Jan8 Heylen - forthcoming - Synthese 198 (Suppl 5):1019-1045.
    The central topic of this article is de re knowledge about natural numbers and its relation with names for numbers. It is held by several prominent philosophers that numerals are eligible for existential quantification in epistemic contexts, whereas other names for natural numbers are not. In other words, numerals are intimately linked with de re knowledge about natural numbers, whereas the other names for natural numbers are not. In this article I am looking for an explanation of this phenomenon. It (...)
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  7. The Prospects for a Monist Theory of Non-Causal Explanation in Science and Mathematics.Alexander Reutlinger, Mark Colyvan & Karolina Krzyżanowska - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    We explore the prospects of a monist account of explanation for both non-causal explanations in science and pure mathematics. Our starting point is the counterfactual theory of explanation (CTE) for explanations in science, as advocated in the recent literature on explanation. We argue that, despite the obvious differences between mathematical and scientific explanation, the CTE can be extended to cover both non-causal explanations in science and mathematical explanations. In particular, a successful application of the CTE to mathematical explanations requires us (...)
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  8. Can We Have Physical Understanding of Mathematical Facts?Gabriel Tȃrziu - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-24.
    A lot of philosophical energy has been devoted recently in trying to determine if mathematics can contribute to our understanding of physical phenomena. Not many philosophers are interested, though, if the converse makes sense, i.e., if our cognitive interaction (scientific or otherwise) with the physical world can be helpful (in an explanatory or non-explanatory way) in our efforts to make sense of mathematical facts. My aim in this paper is to try to fill this important lacuna in the recent literature. (...)
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  9. Comparing Mathematical Explanations.Isaac Wilhelm - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Philosophers have developed several detailed accounts of what makes some mathematical proofs explanatory. Significantly less attention has been paid, however, to what makes some proofs more explanatory than other proofs. That is problematic, since the reasons for thinking that some proofs explain are also reasons for thinking that some proofs are more explanatory than others. So in this paper, I develop an account of comparative explanation in mathematics. I propose a theory of the `at least as explanatory as' relation among (...)
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  10. Proving Quadratic Reciprocity: Explanation, Disagreement, Transparency and Depth.William D'Alessandro - 2020 - Synthese:1-44.
    Gauss’s quadratic reciprocity theorem is among the most important results in the history of number theory. It’s also among the most mysterious: since its discovery in the late 18th century, mathematicians have regarded reciprocity as a deeply surprising fact in need of explanation. Intriguingly, though, there’s little agreement on how the theorem is best explained. Two quite different kinds of proof are most often praised as explanatory: an elementary argument that gives the theorem an intuitive geometric interpretation, due to Gauss (...)
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  11. Viewing-as Explanations and Ontic Dependence.William D’Alessandro - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):769-792.
    According to a widespread view in metaphysics and philosophy of science, all explanations involve relations of ontic dependence between the items appearing in the explanandum and the items appearing in the explanans. I argue that a family of mathematical cases, which I call “viewing-as explanations”, are incompatible with the Dependence Thesis. These cases, I claim, feature genuine explanations that aren’t supported by ontic dependence relations. Hence the thesis isn’t true in general. The first part of the paper defends this claim (...)
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  12. Proof, Explanation, and Justification in Mathematical Practice.Moti Mizrahi - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (4):551-568.
    In this paper, I propose that applying the methods of data science to “the problem of whether mathematical explanations occur within mathematics itself” (Mancosu 2018) might be a fruitful way to shed new light on the problem. By carefully selecting indicator words for explanation and justification, and then systematically searching for these indicators in databases of scholarly works in mathematics, we can get an idea of how mathematicians use these terms in mathematical practice and with what frequency. The results of (...)
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  13. Mathematical Cognition and Enculturation: Introduction to the Synthese Special Issue.Markus Pantsar - 2020 - Synthese 197 (9):3647-3655.
  14. Modality and constitution in distinctively mathematical explanations.Mark Povich - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-10.
    Lange argues that some natural phenomena can be explained by appeal to mathematical, rather than natural, facts. In these “distinctively mathematical” explanations, the core explanatory facts are either modally stronger than facts about ordinary causal law or understood to be constitutive of the physical task or arrangement at issue. Craver and Povich argue that Lange’s account of DME fails to exclude certain “reversals”. Lange has replied that his account can avoid these directionality charges. Specifically, Lange argues that in legitimate DMEs, (...)
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  15. Avis sur « Je suis une Boucle Etrange » (I Am a Strange Loop) de Douglas Hofstadter (2007) (examen révisé 2019).Michael Richard Starks - 2020 - In Bienvenue en Enfer sur Terre : Bébés, Changement climatique, Bitcoin, Cartels, Chine, Démocratie, Diversité, Dysgénique, Égalité, Pirates informatiques, Droits de l'homme, Islam, Libéralisme, Prospérité, Le Web, Chaos, Famine, Maladie, Violence, Intellige. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 110-127.
    Dernier Sermon de l’Église du naturalisme fondamentaliste par le pasteur Hofstadter. Comme son travail beaucoup plus célèbre (ou infâme pour ses erreurs philosophiques implacables) Godel, Escher, Bach, il a une plausibilité superficielle, mais si l’on comprend que c’est le scientisme rampant qui mélange les vrais problèmes scientifiques avec les questions philosophiques (c’est-à-dire, les seules vraies questions sont ce que les jeux linguistiques que nous devrions jouer), alors presque tout son intérêt disparaît. Je fournis un cadre d’analyse basé sur la psychologie (...)
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  16. Revisão de ‘Eu sou um Loop Estranho’ (I am a Strange Loop) por Douglas Hofstadter (2007) (revisão revisada 2019).Michael Richard Starks - 2020 - In Entendendo as Conexões entre Ciência, Filosofia, Psicologia, Religião, Política, Economia, História e Literatura - Artigos e Avaliações 2006-2019. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 251-268.
    Último sermão da Igreja do naturalismo fundamentalista pelo pastor Hofstadter. Como o seu muito mais famoso (ou infame por seus erros filosóficos implacáveis) Godel, Escher, Bach, ele tem uma plausibilidade superficial, mas se se compreende que este é um cientificismo desenfreado que mistura questões científicas reais com os filosóficos (ou seja, o somente as edições reais são que jogos da língua nós devemos jogar) então quase todo seu interesse desaparece. Eu forneci um quadro para análise baseada na psicologia evolutiva e (...)
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  17. Teaching and Learning Guide For: Explanation in Mathematics: Proofs and Practice.William D'Alessandro - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (11).
    This is a teaching and learning guide to accompany "Explanation in Mathematics: Proofs and Practice".
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  18. Explanation in Mathematics: Proofs and Practice.William D'Alessandro - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (11).
    Mathematicians distinguish between proofs that explain their results and those that merely prove. This paper explores the nature of explanatory proofs, their role in mathematical practice, and some of the reasons why philosophers should care about them. Among the questions addressed are the following: what kinds of proofs are generally explanatory (or not)? What makes a proof explanatory? Do all mathematical explanations involve proof in an essential way? Are there really such things as explanatory proofs, and if so, how do (...)
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  19. Ground and Explanation in Mathematics.Marc Lange - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    This paper explores whether there is any relation between mathematical proofs that specify the grounds of the theorem being proved and mathematical proofs that explain why the theorem obtains. The paper argues that a mathematical fact’s grounds do not, simply by virtue of grounding it, thereby explain why that fact obtains. It argues that oftentimes, a proof specifying a mathematical fact’s grounds fails to explain why that fact obtains whereas any explanation of the fact does not specify its ground. The (...)
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  20. Using Corpus Linguistics to Investigate Mathematical Explanation.Juan Pablo Mejía Ramos, Lara Alcock, Kristen Lew, Paolo Rago, Chris Sangwin & Matthew Inglis - 2019 - In Eugen Fischer & Mark Curtis (eds.), Methodological Advances in Experimental Philosophy. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 239–263.
    In this chapter we use methods of corpus linguistics to investigate the ways in which mathematicians describe their work as explanatory in their research papers. We analyse use of the words explain/explanation (and various related words and expressions) in a large corpus of texts containing research papers in mathematics and in physical sciences, comparing this with their use in corpora of general, day-to-day English. We find that although mathematicians do use this family of words, such use is considerably less prevalent (...)
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  21. Do Mathematical Explanations Have Instrumental Value?Rebecca Lea Morris - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-20.
    Scientific explanations are widely recognized to have instrumental value by helping scientists make predictions and control their environment. In this paper I raise, and provide a first analysis of, the question whether explanatory proofs in mathematics have analogous instrumental value. I first identify an important goal in mathematical practice: reusing resources from existing proofs to solve new problems. I then consider the more specific question: do explanatory proofs have instrumental value by promoting reuse of the resources they contain? In general, (...)
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  22. ملاحظات على استحالة, عدم اكتمال, بارااتساق,عدم تحديد, عشوائية, الحوسبة, مفارقة, وعدم اليقين في Chaitin, Wittgenstein, Hofstadter, Wolpert, دوريا, دا كوستا, جوديل, سيرل, روديش, بيرتو, فلويد, مويال شاروك ويانوفسكي.Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press.
    ويعتقد عادة أن الاستحالة، وعدم اكتمال، وParaconsistency، وعدم تحديد، العشوائية، والحوسبة، والمفارقة، وعدم اليقين وحدود العقل هي قضايا علمية مادية أو رياضية متباينة وجود القليل أو لا شيء في المشتركه. أقترح أنها مشاكل فلسفية قياسية إلى حد كبير (أي ألعاب اللغة) التي تم حلها في الغالب من قبل فيتغنشتاين أكثر من 80years منذ. -/- "إن ما نميل إلى قوله في مثل هذه الحالة هو، بطبيعة الحال، ليس فلسفة، ولكنه مادة خام. وهكذا، على سبيل المثال، ما يميل عالم الرياضيات إلى قوله (...)
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  23. Revisão de ' Os Limites Exteriores da Razão ' (The Outer Limits of Reason)Por Noson Yanofsky 403p (2013) (Revisão Revisada 2019).Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - In Delírios Utópicos Suicidas no Século XXI Filosofia, Natureza Humana e o Colapso da Civilization- Artigos e Comentários 2006-2019 5ª edição. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 188-202.
    Eu dou uma revisão detalhada de "os limites exteriores da razão" por Noson Yanofsky de uma perspectiva unificada de Wittgenstein e psicologia evolutiva. Eu indico que a dificuldade com tais questões como paradoxo na linguagem e matemática, incompletude, undecidabilidade, computabilidade, o cérebro eo universo como computadores, etc., todos surgem a partir da falta de olhar atentamente para o nosso uso da linguagem no apropriado contexto e, consequentemente, a falta de separar questões de fato científico a partir de questões de como (...)
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  24. Reseña de ‘Soy un Bucle Extraño’ ( I am a Strange Loop) de Douglas Hofstadter.Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - In Observaciones Sobre Imposibilidad, Incompleta, Paracoherencia,Indecisión,Aleatoriedad, Computabilidad, Paradoja E Incertidumbre En Chaitin, Wittgenstein, Hofstadter, Wolpert, Doria, Dacosta, Godel, Searle, Rodych, Berto,Floyd, Moyal-Sharrock Y Yanofsky. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 21-43.
    Último sermón de la iglesia del naturalismo fundamentalista por el pastor Hofstadter. Al igual que su mucho más famoso (o infame por sus incesantemente errores filosóficos) trabajo Godel, Escher, Bach, tiene una plausibilidad superficial, pero si se entiende que se trata de un científico rampante que mezcla problemas científicos reales con los filosóficos (es decir, el sólo los problemas reales son los juegos de idiomas que debemos jugar) entonces casi todo su interés desaparece. Proporciono un marco para el análisis basado (...)
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  25. Замечания о невозможности, неполноте Paraconsistency, Нерешающость, Случайность вычислительности, парадокс, и неопределенность в Чайтин, Витгенштейн, Хофштадтер Вольперт, Дориа, да Коста, Годель, Сирл, Родыч Берто, Флойд, Мойал-Шаррок и Янофски.Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press.
    Принято считать, что невозможность, неполнота, Парапоследовательность, Несоответствие, Случайность, вычислительность, парадокс, неопределенность и пределы разума являются разрозненными научными физическими или математическими вопросами, имеющими мало или ничего общего. Я полагаю, что они в значительной степени стандартные философские проблемы (т.е. языковые игры), которые были в основном решены Витгенштейном более 80 лет назад. -/- Я предоставляю краткое резюме некоторых из основных выводов двух из самых выдающихся студентов поведения о Fсовременности, Людвиг Витгенштейн и Джон Сирл, на логическую структуру преднамеренности (ум, язык, поведение), принимая в качестве (...)
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  26. Reseña de 'The Outer Limits of Reason' por Noson Yanofsky 403p (2013).Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - In Observaciones Sobre Imposibilidad, Incompleta, Paracoherencia,Indecisión,Aleatoriedad, Computabilidad, Paradoja E Incertidumbre En Chaitin, Wittgenstein, Hofstadter, Wolpert, Doria, Dacosta, Godel, Searle, Rodych, Berto,Floyd, Moyal-Sharrock Y Yanofsky. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 71-90.
    Doy una revisión detallada de ' los límites externos de la razón ' por Noson Yanofsky desde una perspectiva unificada de Wittgenstein y la psicología evolutiva. Yo indiqué que la dificultad con cuestiones como la paradoja en el lenguaje y las matemáticas, la incompletitud, la indeterminación, la computabilidad, el cerebro y el universo como ordenadores, etc., surgen de la falta de mirada cuidadosa a nuestro uso del lenguaje en el adecuado contexto y, por tanto, el Error al separar los problemas (...)
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  27. असंभव, अपूर्णता, अनिर्णय, अनिर्णय, यादृच्छिकता, गणना, विरोधाभास, और चैटिन, विटगेनस्टीन, Hofstadter, Wolpert, डोरिया, दा कोस्टा, गोडेल, सीरले, Rodych, Berto, Floyd में अनिश्चितता पर टिप्पणी मोयाल-शररॉक और यानोफ्स्की.Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press.
    यह आमतौर पर सोचा जाता है कि असंभवता, अपूर्णता, Paraconsistency, अनिर्णितता, Randomness, Computability, विरोधाभास, अनिश्चितता और कारण की सीमा अलग वैज्ञानिक शारीरिक या गणितीय मुद्दों में कम या कुछ भी नहीं कर रहे हैं आम. मेरा सुझाव है कि वे काफी हद तक मानक दार्शनिक समस्याओं (यानी, भाषा का खेल) जो ज्यादातर 80years पहले Wittgenstein द्वारा हल किए गए थे. -/- "क्या हम 'इस तरह के एक मामले में कहने के लिए' कर रहे हैं, ज़ाहिर है, दर्शन नहीं है, लेकिन (...)
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  28. Arithmetic, Set Theory, Reduction and Explanation.William D’Alessandro - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):5059-5089.
    Philosophers of science since Nagel have been interested in the links between intertheoretic reduction and explanation, understanding and other forms of epistemic progress. Although intertheoretic reduction is widely agreed to occur in pure mathematics as well as empirical science, the relationship between reduction and explanation in the mathematical setting has rarely been investigated in a similarly serious way. This paper examines an important particular case: the reduction of arithmetic to set theory. I claim that the reduction is unexplanatory. In defense (...)
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  29. Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations.Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about the causes of the phenomenon to be explained. Such causal accounts have been the received view of the nature of explanation, particularly in philosophy of science, since the 1980s. However, philosophers (...)
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  30. How Mathematics Can Make a Difference.Sam Baron, Mark Colyvan & David Ripley - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17.
    Standard approaches to counterfactuals in the philosophy of explanation are geared toward causal explanation. We show how to extend the counterfactual theory of explanation to non-causal cases, involving extra-mathematical explanation: the explanation of physical facts by mathematical facts. Using a structural equation framework, we model impossible perturbations to mathematics and the resulting differences made to physical explananda in two important cases of extra-mathematical explanation. We address some objections to our approach.
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  31. Problemas para a Explicação Matemática.Eduardo Castro - 2017 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 73 (3-4):1437-1462.
    Mathematical proofs aim to establish the truth of mathematical propositions by means of logical rules. Some recent literature in philosophy of mathematics alleges that some mathematical proofs also reveal why the proved mathematical propositions are true. These mathematical proofs are called explanatory mathematical proofs. In this paper, I present and discuss some salient problems around mathematical explanation: the existence problem, the normative problem, the explanandum problems of truth value and psychological value, the logical structure problem, the regress problem and the (...)
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  32. Does the Counterfactual Theory of Explanation Apply to Non-Causal Explanations in Metaphysics?Alexander Reutlinger - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (2):239-256.
    In the recent philosophy of explanation, a growing attention to and discussion of non-causal explanations has emerged, as there seem to be compelling examples of non-causal explanations in the sciences, in pure mathematics, and in metaphysics. I defend the claim that the counterfactual theory of explanation captures the explanatory character of both non-causal scientific and metaphysical explanations. According to the CTE, scientific and metaphysical explanations are explanatory by virtue of revealing counterfactual dependencies between the explanandum and the explanans. I support (...)
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  33. Introduction: Scientific Explanation Beyond Causation.Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This is an introduction to the volume "Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations", edited by A. Reutlinger and J. Saatsi (OUP, forthcoming in 2017). -/- Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about the causes of the (...)
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  34. Is Mathematics a Domain for Philosophers of Explanation?Erik Weber & Joachim Frans - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (1):125-142.
    In this paper we discuss three interrelated questions. First: is explanation in mathematics a topic that philosophers of mathematics can legitimately investigate? Second: are the specific aims that philosophers of mathematical explanation set themselves legitimate? Finally: are the models of explanation developed by philosophers of science useful tools for philosophers of mathematical explanation? We argue that the answer to all these questions is positive. Our views are completely opposite to the views that Mark Zelcer has put forward recently. Throughout this (...)
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  35. Mathematical Explanation and Epistemology: Please Mind the Gap.Sam Baron - 2016 - Ratio 29 (2):149-167.
    This paper draws together two strands in the debate over the existence of mathematical objects. The first strand concerns the notion of extra-mathematical explanation: the explanation of physical facts, in part, by facts about mathematical objects. The second strand concerns the access problem for platonism: the problem of how to account for knowledge of mathematical objects. I argue for the following conditional: if there are extra-mathematical explanations, then the core thesis of the access problem is false. This has implications for (...)
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  36. Should Scientific Realists Be Platonists?Jacob Busch & Joe Morrison - 2016 - Synthese 193 (2):435-449.
    Enhanced indispensability arguments claim that Scientific Realists are committed to the existence of mathematical entities due to their reliance on Inference to the best explanation. Our central question concerns this purported parity of reasoning: do people who defend the EIA make an appropriate use of the resources of Scientific Realism to achieve platonism? We argue that just because a variety of different inferential strategies can be employed by Scientific Realists does not mean that ontological conclusions concerning which things we should (...)
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  37. Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability.Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    How far should our realism extend? For many years philosophers of mathematics and philosophers of ethics have worked independently to address the question of how best to understand the entities apparently referred to by mathematical and ethical talk. But the similarities between their endeavours are not often emphasised. This book provides that emphasis. In particular, it focuses on two types of argumentative strategies that have been deployed in both areas. The first—debunking arguments—aims to put pressure on realism by emphasising the (...)
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  38. Review of Daniele Molinini, Che cos'è una spiegazione matematica. [REVIEW]Gianluca Longa - 2016 - Lo Sguardo. Rivista di Filosofia 20:325-327.
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  39. Comments on “Parsimony and Inference to the Best Mathematical Explanation”.Fabrice Pataut - 2016 - Synthese 193 (2):351-363.
    The author of “Parsimony and inference to the best mathematical explanation” argues for platonism by way of an enhanced indispensability argument based on an inference to yet better mathematical optimization explanations in the natural sciences. Since such explanations yield beneficial trade-offs between stronger mathematical existential claims and fewer concrete ontological commitments than those involved in merely good mathematical explanations, one must countenance the mathematical objects that play a theoretical role in them via an application of the relevant mathematical results. The (...)
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  40. Does the Counterfactual Theory of Explanation Apply to Non-Causal Explanations in Metaphysics?Alexander Reutlinger - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-18.
    In the recent philosophy of explanation, a growing attention to and discussion of non-causal explanations has emerged, as there seem to be compelling examples of non-causal explanations in the sciences, in pure mathematics, and in metaphysics. I defend the claim that the counterfactual theory of explanation (CTE) captures the explanatory character of both non-causal scientific and metaphysical explanations. According to the CTE, scientific and metaphysical explanations are explanatory by virtue of revealing counterfactual dependencies between the explanandum and the explanans. I (...)
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  41. Proof Phenomenon as a Function of the Phenomenology of Proving.Inês Hipólito - 2015 - Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 119:360-367.
    Kurt Gödel wrote (1964, p. 272), after he had read Husserl, that the notion of objectivity raises a question: “the question of the objective existence of the objects of mathematical intuition (which, incidentally, is an exact replica of the question of the objective existence of the outer world)”. This “exact replica” brings to mind the close analogy Husserl saw between our intuition of essences in Wesensschau and of physical objects in perception. What is it like to experience a mathematical proving (...)
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  42. Depth and Explanation in Mathematics.Marc Lange - 2015 - Philosophia Mathematica 23 (2):196-214.
    This paper argues that in at least some cases, one proof of a given theorem is deeper than another by virtue of supplying a deeper explanation of the theorem — that is, a deeper account of why the theorem holds. There are cases of scientific depth that also involve a common abstract structure explaining a similarity between two otherwise unrelated phenomena, making their similarity no coincidence and purchasing depth by answering why questions that separate, dissimilar explanations of the two phenomena (...)
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  43. The Unsolvability of The Quintic: A Case Study in Abstract Mathematical Explanation.Christopher Pincock - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    This paper identifies one way that a mathematical proof can be more explanatory than another proof. This is by invoking a more abstract kind of entity than the topic of the theorem. These abstract mathematical explanations are identified via an investigation of a canonical instance of modern mathematics: the Galois theory proof that there is no general solution in radicals for fifth-degree polynomial equations. I claim that abstract explanations are best seen as describing a special sort of dependence relation between (...)
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  44. Are There Genuine Physical Explanations of Mathematical Phenomena?Bradford Skow - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (1):69-93.
    There are lots of arguments for, or justifications of, mathematical theorems that make use of principles from physics. Do any of these constitute explanations? On the one hand, physical principles do not seem like they should be explanatorily relevant; on the other, some particular examples of physical justifications do look explanatory. In this article, I defend the idea that physical justifications can and do explain mathematical facts. 1 Physical Arguments for Mathematical Truths2 Preview3 Mathematical Facts4 Purity5 Doubts about Purity: I6 (...)
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  45. An Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics: Mathematics as the Science of Quantity and Stucture.James Franklin - 2014 - Palgrave MacMillan.
    An Aristotelian Philosophy of Mathematics breaks the impasse between Platonist and nominalist views of mathematics. Neither a study of abstract objects nor a mere language or logic, mathematics is a science of real aspects of the world as much as biology is. For the first time, a philosophy of mathematics puts applied mathematics at the centre. Quantitative aspects of the world such as ratios of heights, and structural ones such as symmetry and continuity, are parts of the physical world and (...)
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  46. Mathematical Representation: Playing a Role.Kate Hodesdon - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):769-782.
    The primary justification for mathematical structuralism is its capacity to explain two observations about mathematical objects, typically natural numbers. Non-eliminative structuralism attributes these features to the particular ontology of mathematics. I argue that attributing the features to an ontology of structural objects conflicts with claims often made by structuralists to the effect that their structuralist theses are versions of Quine’s ontological relativity or Putnam’s internal realism. I describe and argue for an alternative explanation for these features which instead explains the (...)
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  47. Che Cos'è una Spiegazione Matematica.Daniele Molinini - 2014 - Carocci.
    Può la matematica spiegare il mondo che ci circonda, o addirittura sé stessa? Possono i numeri, e più in generale le teorie matematiche, dirci perché alcuni fenomeni naturali e sociali avvengono o perché alcuni risultati matematici siano da considerarsi veri? Che cosa si intende esattamente per spiegazione matematica? Attraverso numerosi esempi, l’autore offre una risposta a queste domande e illustra le principali posizioni filosofiche elaborate per la nozione di spiegazione matematica, nozione che è alla base di dibattiti riguardanti aree diverse (...)
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  48. Commentary On: Michel Dufour's "Argument and Explanation in Mathematics".Andrew Aberdein - 2013 - In Dima Mohammed & Marcin Lewinski (eds.), Virtues of argumentation: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation (OSSA), May 22–25, 2013. OSSA.
  49. Indispensability and Explanation.Sorin Bangu - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):255-277.
    The question as to whether there are mathematical explanations of physical phenomena has recently received a great deal of attention in the literature. The answer is potentially relevant for the ontology of mathematics; if affirmative, it would support a new version of the indispensability argument for mathematical realism. In this article, I first review critically a few examples of such explanations and advance a general analysis of the desiderata to be satisfied by them. Second, in an attempt to strengthen the (...)
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  50. Explanation by Induction?Miguel Hoeltje, Benjamin Schnieder & Alex Steinberg - 2013 - 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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