Mathematical Explanation: A Contextual Approach

Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (2):309-329 (2017)
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PurposeIn this article, we aim to present and defend a contextual approach to mathematical explanation.MethodTo do this, we introduce an epistemic reading of mathematical explanation.ResultsThe epistemic reading not only clarifies the link between mathematical explanation and mathematical understanding, but also allows us to explicate some contextual factors governing explanation. We then show how several accounts of mathematical explanation can be read in this approach.ConclusionThe contextual approach defended here clears up the notion of explanation and pushes us towards a pluralist vision on mathematical explanation.

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Bart Van Kerkhove
Vrije Universiteit Brussel


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