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William D'Alessandro
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
  1. Explanation in mathematics: Proofs and practice.William D'Alessandro - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (11):e12629.
    Mathematicians distinguish between proofs that explain their results and those that merely prove. This paper explores the nature of explanatory proofs, their role in mathematical practice, and some of the reasons why philosophers should care about them. Among the questions addressed are the following: what kinds of proofs are generally explanatory (or not)? What makes a proof explanatory? Do all mathematical explanations involve proof in an essential way? Are there really such things as explanatory proofs, and if so, how do (...)
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  2. Is It Bad to Prefer Attractive Partners?William D'Alessandro - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-20.
    Philosophers have rightly condemned lookism—that is, discrimination in favor of attractive people or against unattractive people—in education, the justice system, the workplace and elsewhere. Surprisingly, however, the almost universal preference for attractive romantic and sexual partners has rarely received serious ethical scrutiny. On its face, it’s unclear whether this is a form of discrimination we should reject or tolerate. I consider arguments for both views. On the one hand, a strong case can be made that preferring attractive partners is bad. (...)
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    Transferable and Fixable Proofs.William D'Alessandro - forthcoming - Episteme.
    A proof P of a theorem T is transferable when a typical expert can become convinced of T solely on the basis of their prior knowledge and the information contained in P. Easwaran has argued that transferability is a constraint on acceptable proof. Meanwhile, a proof P is fixable when it’s possible for other experts to correct any mistakes P contains without having to develop significant new mathematics. Habgood-Coote and Tanswell have observed that some acceptable proofs are both fixable and (...)
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    Unrealistic Models in Mathematics.William D'Alessandro - 2022 - Philosophers’ Imprint.
    Models are indispensable tools of scientific inquiry, and one of their main uses is to improve our understanding of the phenomena they represent. How do models accomplish this? And what does this tell us about the nature of understanding? While much recent work has aimed at answering these questions, philosophers' focus has been squarely on models in empirical science. I aim to show that pure mathematics also deserves a seat at the table. I begin by presenting two cases: Cramér’s random (...)
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  5. Teaching and Learning Guide for: Explanation in Mathematics: Proofs and Practice.William D'Alessandro - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (11):e12629.
    This is a teaching and learning guide to accompany "Explanation in Mathematics: Proofs and Practice".
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  6. Interview with Kenny Easwaran.Kenny Easwaran & William D'Alessandro - 2021 - The Reasoner 15 (2):9-12.
    Bill D'Alessandro talks to Kenny Easwaran about fractal music, Zoom conferences, being a good referee, teaching in math and philosophy, the rationalist community and its relationship to academia, decision-theoretic pluralism, and the city of Manhattan, Kansas.
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