Morris, Rebecca (2019) Do mathematical explanations have instrumental value? [Preprint]
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Abstract
Scientific explanations are widely recognized to have instrumental value by helping scientists make predictions and control their environment. In this paper I raise, and
provide a first analysis of, the question whether explanatory proofs in mathematics have analogous instrumental value. I first identify an important goal in mathematical practice: reusing resources from existing proofs to solve new problems. I then consider the more specific question: do explanatory proofs have instrumental value by promoting reuse of the resources they contain? In general, I argue that the answer to this question is "no" and demonstrate this in detail for the theory of mathematical explanation developed by Marc Lange.
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Item Type:  Preprint  

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Keywords:  Mathematical explanation, Scientific explanation, Mathematical practice, Proof  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Proof 

Depositing User:  Dr Rebecca Lea Morris  
Date Deposited:  26 Jan 2019 17:07  
Last Modified:  26 Jan 2019 17:07  
Item ID:  15668  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Proof 

Date:  2019  
URI:  http://philsciarchive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15668 
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 Do mathematical explanations have instrumental value? (deposited 26 Jan 2019 17:07) [Currently Displayed]
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