Morris, Rebecca (2019) Do mathematical explanations have instrumental value? Synthese. ISSN 15730964
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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:  Published Article or Volume  

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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:  02 Feb 2019 05:17  
Last Modified:  02 Feb 2019 05:17  
Item ID:  15700  
Journal or Publication Title:  Synthese  
Publisher:  Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)  
DOI or Unique Handle:  10.1007/s1122901902114y  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Proof 

Date:  1 February 2019  
ISSN:  15730964  
URI:  https://philsciarchive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15700 
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Do mathematical explanations have instrumental value? (deposited 26 Jan 2019 17:07)
 Do mathematical explanations have instrumental value? (deposited 02 Feb 2019 05:17) [Currently Displayed]
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