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Mathematical Explanation by Law

Sam, Baron (2017) Mathematical Explanation by Law. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

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Abstract

Call an explanation in which a non-mathematical fact is explained --- in part or in whole --- by mathematical facts: an extra-mathematical explanation. Such explanations have attracted a great deal of interest recently in arguments over mathematical realism. In this paper, a theory of extra-mathematical explanation is developed. The theory is modeled on a deductive-nomological theory of scientific explanation. A basic DN account of extra-mathematical explanation is proposed and then redeveloped in the light of two difficulties that the basic theory faces. The final view appeals to relevance logic and uses resources in information theory to understand the explanatory relationship between mathematical and physical facts.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Sam, Baronsamuel.baron@uwa.edu.au0000-0003-4000-3276
Keywords: Explanation;mathematics;relevance;logic;deduction;law;consequence
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Logic
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Ontology
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr Samuel Baron
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2017 14:30
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2017 18:51
Item ID: 13370
Journal or Publication Title: The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Logic
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Ontology
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 28 July 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13370

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