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Mathematical Explanation

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[Revised entry by Paolo Mancosu, Francesca Poggiolesi, and Christopher Pincock on July 21, 2023.
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography]
The philosophical analysis of mathematical explanation concerns itself with two different, although connected, areas of investigation. The first area addresses the problem of whether mathematics can play an explanatory role in the natural and social sciences. The second deals with the problem of whether mathematical explanation occurs within mathematics itself. Accordingly, this entry surveys the contributions to both areas, it shows their relevance to the history of philosophy, mathematics, and science, it articulates their connection, and points…

Originally appeared on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Read More

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