Dynamical Systems Theory and Explanatory Indispensability

Philosophy of Science 84 (5):892-904 (2017)

Authors
Juha Saatsi
University of Leeds
Abstract
I examine explanations’ realist commitments in relation to dynamical systems theory. First I rebut an ‘explanatory indispensability argument’ for mathematical realism from the explanatory power of phase spaces (Lyon and Colyvan 2007). Then I critically consider a possible way of strengthening the indispensability argument by reference to attractors in dynamical systems theory. The take-home message is that understanding of the modal character of explanations (in dynamical systems theory) can undermine platonist arguments from explanatory indispensability.
Keywords Indispensability argument  Explanation  Platonism  Chaos
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1086/693965
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References found in this work BETA

Science Without Numbers.Hartry Field - 1980 - Princeton University Press.
Mathematical Explanation in Science.Alan Baker - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):611-633.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Indispensability Argument and the Nature of Mathematical Objects.Matteo Plebani - 2018 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 33 (2):249-263.

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