Indexing and Mathematical Explanation

Philosophia Mathematica 19 (3):323-334 (2011)
Abstract
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
Mathematical Explanation in Science.Alan Baker - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):611-633.
On the Explanatory Role of Mathematics in Empirical Science.Robert Batterman - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):1-25.
The Explanatory Power of Phase Spaces.Aidan Lyon & Mark Colyvan - 2007 - Philosophia Mathematica 16 (2):227-243.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Directionality of Distinctively Mathematical Explanations.Carl F. Craver & Mark Povich - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 63:31-38.
Mathematical Explanations Of Empirical Facts, And Mathematical Realism.Aidan Lyon - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):559-578.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

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