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On the Explanatory Role of Mathematics in Empirical Science

Batterman, Robert (2008) On the Explanatory Role of Mathematics in Empirical Science. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper examines contemporary attempts to explicate the explanatory role of mathematics in the physical sciences. Most such approaches involve developing so-called mapping accounts of the relationships between the physical world and mathematical structures. The paper argues that the use of idealizations in physical theorizing poses serious difficulties for such mapping accounts. A new approach to the applicability of mathematics is proposed.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Batterman, Robert
Keywords: Mathematics, explanation, physics, applicability, Limits, Idealizations
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Robert Batterman
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 07 May 2017 16:31
Item ID: 4115
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics
Date: July 2008
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/4115

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