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Mathematical explanation and indispensability

Vineberg, Susan (2018) Mathematical explanation and indispensability. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 33 (2). pp. 233-247. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

This paper discusses Baker’s Enhanced Indispensability Argument (EIA) for mathematical realism on the basis of the indispensable role mathematics plays in scientific explanations of physical facts, along with various responses to it. I argue that there is an analogue of causal explanation for mathematics which, of several basic types of explanation, holds the most promise for use in the EIA. I consider a plausible case where mathematics plays an explanatory role in this sense, but argue that such use still does not support realism about mathematical objects.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Vineberg, Susansusan.vineberg@wayne.edu
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: Explanation, Indispensability Argument
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Applicability
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email theoria@ehu.es
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2018 18:00
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2018 18:00
Item ID: 14794
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: http://www.ehu.eus/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/v...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.17615
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Applicability
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Date: May 2018
Page Range: pp. 233-247
Volume: 33
Number: 2
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14794

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