Evidence, explanation and enhanced indispensability

Synthese 193 (2):403-422 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this paper I shall adopt a possible reading of the notions of ‘explanatory indispensability’ and ‘genuine mathematical explanation in science’ on which the Enhanced Indispensability Argument proposed by Alan Baker is based. Furthermore, I shall propose two examples of mathematical explanation in science and I shall show that, whether the EIA-partisans accept the reading I suggest, they are easily caught in a dilemma. To escape this dilemma they need to adopt some account of explanation and offer a plausible answer to the following ‘question of evidence’: What is a genuine mathematical explanation in empirical science and on what basis do we consider it as such? Finally, I shall suggest how a possible answer to the question of evidence might be given through a specific account of mathematical explanation in science. Nevertheless, the price of adopting this standpoint is that the genuineness of mathematical explanations of scientific facts turns out to be dependent on pragmatic constraints and therefore cannot be plugged in EIA and used to establish existential claims about mathematical objects

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,264

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

How Not to Enhance the Indispensability Argument.Russell Marcus - 2014 - Philosophia Mathematica 22 (3):345-360.
Against Mathematical Convenientism.Seungbae Park - 2016 - Axiomathes 26 (2):115-122.
Isn’t the Indispensability Argument Necessarily Analogical?Woosuk Park - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 41:13-18.
Intrinsic Explanation and Field’s Dispensabilist Strategy.Russell Marcus - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (2):163-183.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-09-01

Downloads
73 (#167,104)

6 months
1 (#449,844)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?