Mathematical Explanation in Science

  title={Mathematical Explanation in Science},
  author={A. Baker},
  journal={The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science},
  pages={611 - 633}
  • A. Baker
  • Published 2009
  • Philosophy
  • The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Does mathematics ever play an explanatory role in science? If so then this opens the way for scientific realists to argue for the existence of mathematical entities using inference to the best explanation. Elsewhere I have argued, using a case study involving the prime-numbered life cycles of periodical cicadas, that there are examples of indispensable mathematical explanations of purely physical phenomena. In this paper I respond to objections to this claim that have been made by various… Expand
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