McCulloughBenner, Colin (2021) The Metarepresentational Role of Mathematics in Scientific Explanations. [Preprint]

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Abstract
Several philosophers have argued that to capture the generality of certain scientific explanations, we must count mathematical facts among their explanantia. I argue that we can better understand these explanations by adopting a more nuanced stance toward mathematical representations, recognizing the role of mathematical representation schemata in representing highly abstract features of physical systems. It is by picking out these abstract but nonmathematical features that explanations appealing to mathematics achieve a high degree of generality. The result is a rich conception of the role of mathematics in scientific explanations that does not require us to treat mathematical facts as explanantia.
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Item Type:  Preprint  

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Keywords:  Mathematical explanation, mathematical representation, scientific explanation, scientific representation, explanatory generality, indispensability argument  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Applicability Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation Specific Sciences > Mathematics 

Depositing User:  Colin McCulloughBenner  
Date Deposited:  08 Aug 2021 21:14  
Last Modified:  08 Aug 2021 21:14  
Item ID:  19423  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Applicability Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation Specific Sciences > Mathematics 

Date:  8 August 2021  
URI:  https://philsciarchive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19423 
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