Are There Genuine Physical Explanations of Mathematical Phenomena? |
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Skow (Bradford) |

Source: Forthcoming in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science with the appendices removed |

Paper - Abstract |

Paper Statistics | Disclaimer |

__Author’s Abstract__

- There are lots of arguments for, or justifications of, mathematical theorems that make use of principles from physics. Do any of these constitute explanations?
- On the one hand, physical principles do not seem like they should be explanatorily relevant; on the other, some particular examples of physical justifications do look explanatory.
- In this paper I defend the idea that (some) physical justifications can and do explain mathematical facts.
__Sections__- Physical Arguments for Mathematical Truths
- Preview
- Mathematical Facts
- Purity
- Doubts about Purity, I
- Doubts about Purity, II
- How Physical Arguments Might Explain, I
- How Physical Arguments Might Explain, II
- Conclusion
- Appendix A: Extracting an ‘Underlying’ Explanation
- Appendix B: Another Example of an Explanatory Physical Argument

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