Platonic Relations and Mathematical Explanations

Philosophical Quarterly 71 (3):623-644 (2021)
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Abstract

Some scientific explanations appear to turn on pure mathematical claims. The enhanced indispensability argument appeals to these ‘mathematical explanations’ in support of mathematical platonism. I argue that the success of this argument rests on the claim that mathematical explanations locate pure mathematical facts on which their physical explananda depend, and that any account of mathematical explanation that supports this claim fails to provide an adequate understanding of mathematical explanation.

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Robert Knowles
Swansea University

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