PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Is the Enhanced Indispensability Argument Circular?

The Enhanced Indispensability Argument holds that the existence of genuine mathematical explanations of physical phenomena supports mathematical realism. In this paper I will show that the argument is circular. For the argument to work, the physical explanandum must be described in mathematical terms. The problem is that the explanandum in a scientific explanation must be true, and so for the argument to get off the ground mathematical realism must be assumed. As a case study, I will analyze the explanation of the magicicadas’ life-cycle.

Author Information:

Manuel Barrantes    

 

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