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Sorin Bangu -Mathematical explanations of physical facts

February 7, 2020 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Montreal Inter-University Workshop on the History and Philosophy of Mathematics presents:

Sorin Bangu (Bergen):
Mathematical explanations of physical facts

Friday, February 14, 2020
McGill University, Leacock Building, Room 927. 3:30-5:00pm

Abstract: The paper proposes an account of how mathematical explanations of physical facts might work. I argue that the role of mathematics is explicatory, and give reasons to believe that this explicatory role is also an explanatory one. In more detail, the plan of the talk is as follows. I begin with a close analysis and critique of a recent theory of such explanations, due to Marc Lange (2013; 2017). Then I introduce the explicatory model, which I test on several examples. Some of these examples have already been proposed in the literature, and I argue that the model can accommodate them naturally: in all cases, mathematics is explicatory and, under certain conditions, also explanatory. Time permitting, I’ll end with a discussion of a new example.

For more information, please contact: Gregory Lavers (Concordia), Mathieu Marion (UQÀM), Jean-Pierre Marquis (UdM), Dirk Schlimm (McGill).

Website: http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~dirk/workshop

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