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Mathematical Explanation Beyond Explanatory Proof

D'Alessandro, William (2017) Mathematical Explanation Beyond Explanatory Proof. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

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Abstract

Abstract Much recent work on mathematical explanation has presupposed that the phenomenon involves explanatory proofs in an essential way. I argue that this view, ‘proof chauvinism’, is false. I then look in some detail at the explanation of the solvability of polynomial equations provided by Galois theory, which has often been thought to revolve around an explanatory proof. The paper concludes with some general worries about the effects of chauvinism on the theory of mathematical explanation.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
D'Alessandro, Williamwdales2@uic.edu0000-0002-5451-079X
Keywords: Explanation, mathematical explanation, philosophy of mathematics, proof, mathematical proof, algebra, Galois theory, explanatory proof
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Proof
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Values
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Depositing User: Dr. William D'Alessandro
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2017 14:44
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2017 14:44
Item ID: 13377
Journal or Publication Title: The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Proof
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Values
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Date: 2017
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13377

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