Journal Article

The Enhanced Indispensability Argument: Representational versus Explanatory Role of Mathematics in Science

Juha Saatsi

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 62, issue 1, pages 143-154
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axq029
The Enhanced Indispensability Argument: Representational versus Explanatory Role of Mathematics in Science

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The Enhanced Indispensability Argument (Baker [2009]) exemplifies the new wave of the indispensability argument for mathematical Platonism. The new wave capitalizes on mathematics' role in scientific explanations. I will criticize some analyses of mathematics' explanatory function. In turn, I will emphasize the representational role of mathematics, and argue that the debate would significantly benefit from acknowledging this alternative viewpoint to mathematics' contribution to scientific explanations and knowledge.

1 Introduction

2 Representation versus Explanation

2.1 Honeycomb

2.2 Cicadas

3 Conclusion

Journal Article.  4706 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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