A Counterfactual Approach to Explanation in Mathematics

Samuel Baron, Mark Colyvan, David Ripley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Web of Science)
26 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Our goal in this paper is to extend counterfactual accounts of scientific explanation to mathematics. Our focus, in particular, is on intra-mathematical explanations: explanations of one mathematical fact in terms of another. We offer a basic counterfactual theory of intra-mathematical explanations, before modelling the explanatory structure of a test case using counterfactual machinery. We finish by considering the application of counterpossibles to mathematical explanation, and explore a second test case along these lines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
JournalPhilosophia Mathematica: philosophy of mathematics, its learning, and its application
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A Counterfactual Approach to Explanation in Mathematics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this