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Dynamical Systems Theory and Explanatory Indispensability

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

I examine explanations’ realist commitments in relation to dynamical systems theory. First I rebut an ‘explanatory indispensability argument’ for mathematical realism from the explanatory power of phase spaces. Then I critically consider a possible way of strengthening the indispensability argument by reference to attractors 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.

Type
Explanation
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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