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Counter Countermathematical Explanations

Kasirzadeh, Atoosa (2021) Counter Countermathematical Explanations. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Recently, there have been several attempts to generalize the counterfactual theory of causal explanations to mathematical explanations. The central idea of these attempts is to use conditionals whose antecedents express a mathematical impossibility. Such countermathematical conditionals are plugged into the explanatory scheme of the counterfactual theory and -- so is the hope -- capture mathematical explanations. Here, I dash the hope that countermathematical explanations simply parallel counterfactual explanations. In particular, I show that explanations based on countermathematicals are susceptible to three problems counterfactual explanations do not face. These problems seriously challenge the prospects for a counterfactual theory of explanation that is meant to cover mathematical explanations.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Kasirzadeh, Atoosaatoosa.kasirzadeh@mail.utoronto.ca
Additional Information: This paper is accepted for publication at Erkenntnis.
Keywords: Mathematical explanation Counterfactual explanation Countermathematical explanation
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Depositing User: Dr. Atoosa Kasirzadeh
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2021 18:10
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2021 18:10
Item ID: 19537
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Date: 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19537

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