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Manuel Barrantes
University of Virginia (PhD)
  1. Optimal Representations and the Enhanced Indispensability Argument.Manuel Barrantes - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):247-263.
    The Enhanced Indispensability Argument appeals to the existence of Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena to justify mathematical Platonism, following the principle of Inference to the Best Explanation. In this paper, I examine one example of a MEPP—the explanation of the 13-year and 17-year life cycle of magicicadas—and argue that this case cannot be used defend the EIA. I then generalize my analysis of the cicada case to other MEPPs, and show that these explanations rely on what I will call ‘optimal (...)
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    Explanatory Information in Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena.Manuel Barrantes - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):590-603.
    In this paper I defend an intermediate position between the ‘bare mathematical results’ view and the ‘transmission’ view of mathematical explanations of physical phenomena (MEPPs). I argue that, in MEPPs, it is not enough to deduce the explanandum from the generalizations cited in the explanans. Rather, we must add information regarding why those generalizations obtain. However, I also argue that it is not necessary to provide explanatory proofs of the mathematical theorems that represent those generalizations. I illustrate this with the (...)
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  3. Cartesian Certainty, Realism and Scientific Inference.Manuel Barrantes - forthcoming - In Jorge Secada & C. Wee (eds.), The Cartesian Mind.
    In the Principles, Descartes explains several observable phenomena showing that they are caused by special arrangements of unobservable microparticles. Despite these microparticles being unobservable, many passages suggest that he was very confident that these explanations were correct. In other passages, however, Descartes points out that these explanations merely hold the status of ‘suppositions’ or ‘conjectures’ that could be wrong. The aim of this chapter is to clarify this apparent conflict. I argue that the possibility of natural explanations being wrong should (...)
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    Estructuralismo, ficcionalismo, y la aplicabilidad de las matemáticas en ciencia.Manuel Barrantes - 2019 - Areté. Revista de Filosofía 31 (1):7-34.
    “Structuralism, Fictionalism, and the Applicability of Mathematics in Science”. This article has two objectives. The first one is to review some of the most important questions in the contemporary philosophy of mathematics: What is the nature of mathematical objects? How do we acquire knowledge about these objects? Should mathematical statements be interpreted differently than ordinary ones? And, finally, how can we explain the applicability of mathematics in science? The debate that guides these reflections is the one between mathematical realism and (...)
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  5. Thomas Reid on Causation and Scientific Explanation.Manuel Barrantes & Juan Manuel Durán - 2016 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 14 (1):51-67.
    We argue that there is no tension between Reid's description of science and his claim that science is based on the principles of common sense. For Reid, science is rooted in common sense since it is based on the idea that fixed laws govern nature. This, however, does not contradict his view that the scientific notions of causation and explanation are fundamentally different from their common sense counterparts. After discussing these points, we dispute with Cobb's and Benbaji's interpretations of Reid's (...)
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