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Explanation

Christopher Pincock

in Mathematics and Scientific Representation

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780199757107
eISBN:
9780199932313
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199757107.003.0010
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This chapter explores the more recent attempts to rescue the indispensability argument for platonism by appeal to the explanatory contributions which mathematics makes in science. Pincock argues that ... More


Mathematical Explanation: Why it Matters

Paolo Mancosu

in The Philosophy of Mathematical Practice

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
February 2010
ISBN:
9780199296453
eISBN:
9780191711961
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296453.003.0006
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

This chapter offers a broad survey of the literature on mathematical explanation, and shows the importance of this area of work for a philosophical understanding of mathematical practice and for ... More


Mathematics and Scientific Representation

Christopher Pincock

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780199757107
eISBN:
9780199932313
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199757107.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

Mathematics plays a central role in much of contemporary science, but philosophers have struggled to understand what this role is or how significant it might be for mathematics and science. In this ... More


Beyond Unification

Johannes Hafner and Paolo Mancosu

in The Philosophy of Mathematical Practice

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
February 2010
ISBN:
9780199296453
eISBN:
9780191711961
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296453.003.0007
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

The subject of mathematical explanation has received increasing attention in recent years. Philip Kitcher is a well-known defender of an account of (scientific as well as) mathematical explanation as ... More


The Philosophy of Mathematical Practice

Paolo Mancosu (ed.)

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
February 2010
ISBN:
9780199296453
eISBN:
9780191711961
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296453.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

Contemporary philosophy of mathematics offers us an embarrassment of riches. But anyone familiar with this area will be aware of the need for new approaches that will pay closer attention to ... More


Explaining with Mathematics?: Idealization, Universality, and the Criteria for Explanation

Otávio Bueno and Steven French

in Applying Mathematics: Immersion, Inference, Interpretation

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
June 2018
ISBN:
9780198815044
eISBN:
9780191852862
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198815044.003.0009
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

In this chapter, we examine the role of idealization, specifically with regard to explanation, and the broad criteria of acceptability that any such explanatory account should meet. Our case study is ... More


The Ends of Explanation

Bryan Magee

in The Philosophy of Schopenhauer

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780198237228
eISBN:
9780191706233
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0198237227.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, History of Philosophy

Investigates the contents of Schopenhauer's first book On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason. This is devoted to the nature of explanation. It concludes that all events in the ... More


The Mathematical Route to Causal Understanding

Michael Strevens

in Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
June 2018
ISBN:
9780198777946
eISBN:
9780191823404
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198777946.003.0006
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics/Epistemology

In some scientific explanations, mathematical facts seem to be the primary bearers of enlightenment. Is this a case, in science, of “explanation beyond causation”? Might these explanations be causal ... More


Explaining with Mathematics? From Cicadas to Symmetry

Otávio Bueno and Steven French

in Applying Mathematics: Immersion, Inference, Interpretation

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
June 2018
ISBN:
9780198815044
eISBN:
9780191852862
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198815044.003.0008
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

The putative explanatory role of mathematics is further pursued in this chapter in the context of the so-called indispensability argument. Our conclusion here is that the possibility of mathematical ... More


The Non-Causal Character of Renormalization Group Explanations

Margaret Morrison

in Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
June 2018
ISBN:
9780198777946
eISBN:
9780191823404
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198777946.003.0011
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics/Epistemology

After reviewing some of the recent literature on non-causal and mathematical explanation, this chapter develops an argument as to why renormalization group (RG) methods should be seen as providing ... More


From the Pure to the Concrete: How Mathematics Yields Physical Information

Margaret Morrison

in Reconstructing Reality: Models, Mathematics, and Simulations

Published in print:
2015
Published Online:
January 2015
ISBN:
9780199380275
eISBN:
9780199380299
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199380275.003.0003
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, General

This chapter addresses the question of whether and how mathematics, in and of itself, is capable of providing genuine physical information, where the latter is characterised as information about ... More


Two Flavours of Mathematical Explanation

Mark Colyvan, John Cusbert, and Kelvin McQueen

in Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
June 2018
ISBN:
9780198777946
eISBN:
9780191823404
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198777946.003.0012
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics/Epistemology

A proof of a mathematical theorem tells us that the theorem is true (or should be accepted), but some proofs go further and tell us why the theorem is true (or should be accepted). That is, some, but ... More


Accommodating Explanatory Pluralism

Christopher Pincock

in Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
June 2018
ISBN:
9780198777946
eISBN:
9780191823404
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198777946.003.0003
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics/Epistemology

Explanatory pluralism is the view that explanations come in two or more different types. This chapter clarifies two versions of explanatory pluralism and considers two very different attempts to make ... More


Extending the Counterfactual Theory of Explanation

Alexander Reutlinger

in Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
June 2018
ISBN:
9780198777946
eISBN:
9780191823404
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198777946.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics/Epistemology

In the recent debate on explanation philosophers tend to agree that the natural and social sciences do not only provide causal but also non-causal explanations. It is a challenging aspect of this ... More


Reconstructing Reality: Models, Mathematics, and Simulations

Margaret Morrison

Published in print:
2015
Published Online:
January 2015
ISBN:
9780199380275
eISBN:
9780199380299
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199380275.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, General

Attempts to understand various aspects of the empirical world often rely on modelling processes that involve a reconstruction of the system(s) under investigation. Typically the reconstruction uses ... More


Applications

Bradford Skow

in Reasons Why

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9780198785842
eISBN:
9780191831164
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785842.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

An argument against the book’s thesis is discussed, that purports to show that in many cases, even if every cause of E’s happening is a reason why E happened, some of those causes are not reasons ... More


Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations

Alexander Reutlinger and Juha Saatsi (eds)

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
June 2018
ISBN:
9780198777946
eISBN:
9780191823404
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198777946.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics/Epistemology

Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of ... More


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