Optimisation and mathematical explanation: Doing the Lévy Walk

Journal article


Baron, Sam. (2014) Optimisation and mathematical explanation: Doing the Lévy Walk. Synthese. 191(3), pp. 459 - 479. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-013-0284-2
AuthorsBaron, Sam
Abstract

The indispensability argument seeks to establish the existence of mathematical objects. The success of the indispensability argument turns on finding cases of genuine extra-mathematical explanation (the explanation of physical facts by mathematical facts). In this paper, I identify a new case of extra-mathematical explanation, involving the search patterns of fully-aquatic marine predators. I go on to use this case to predict the prevalence of extra-mathematical explanation in science.

Keywordsexplanation; indispensability; lévy; optimisation; mathematics; platonism; nominalism
Year2014
JournalSynthese
Journal citation191 (3), pp. 459 - 479
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
ISSN0039-7857
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-013-0284-2
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84876758938
Page range459 - 479
Research GroupDianoia Institute of Philosophy
Place of publicationNetherlands
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