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Explanation By Induction?

By n.n.

Abstract

Philosophers of mathematics commonly distinguish between explanatory and non-explanatory proofs. An important subclass of mathematical proofs are proofs by induction. Are they explanatory? This paper addresses the question, based on general principles about explanation. First, a recent argument for a negative answer is discussed and rebutted. Second, a case is made for a qualified positive take on the issue. In the philosophy of mathematics it is commonplace to distinguish between explanatory and non-explanatory proofs. The former explain why their conclusion is true, while the latter merely show that their conclusion is true. 1 An important subclass of mathematical proofs are proofs by induction. However, intuitions are divided about which of them, if any, are explanatory. 2 This suggests that direct reliance on intuitions is a poor guide for deciding the question. An argument from more general principles about explanation i

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.371.8989
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