Counterfactual scheming

Journal article


Baron, Sam 2020. Counterfactual scheming. Mind. 129 (514), pp. 535 - 562. https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/fzz008
AuthorsBaron, Sam
Abstract

Mathematics appears to play a genuine explanatory role in science. But how do mathematical explanations work? Recently, a counterfactual approach to mathematical explanation has been suggested. I argue that such a view fails to differentiate the explanatory uses of mathematics within science from the non-explanatory uses. I go on to offer a solution to this problem by combining elements of the counterfactual theory of explanation with elements of a unification theory of explanation. The result is a theory according to which a counterfactual is explanatory when it is an instance of a generalized counterfactual scheme.

Year2020
JournalMind
Journal citation129 (514), pp. 535 - 562
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN0026-4423
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/fzz008
Page range535 - 562
Research GroupDianoia Institute of Philosophy
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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