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

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Dynamical Systems Theory and Explanatory Indispensability

I examine explanations’ realist commitments in relation to dynamical system theory. First rebut an ‘explanatory indispensability argument’ for mathematical realism from the explanatory power of phase spaces (Lyon and Colyvan 2007). Then I critically consider a possible way of strengthening the indispensability argument by reference to a ractors in dynamical systems theory. The take-home message is that understanding of the modal character of explanations (in dynamical systems theory) can undermine platonist arguments from explanatory indispensability.

Author Information:

Juha Saatsi    
School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science
University of Leeds

 

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