A deductive-nomological model for mathematical scientific explanation





I propose a deductive-nomological model for mathematical scientific explanation. In this regard, I modify Hempel’s deductive-nomological model and test it against some of the following recent paradigmatic examples of the mathematical explanation of empirical facts: the seven bridges of Königsberg, the North American synchronized cicadas, and Hénon-Heiles Hamiltonian systems. I argue that mathematical scientific explanations that invoke laws of nature are qualitative explanations, and ordinary scientific explanations that employ mathematics are quantitative explanations. I analyse the repercussions of this deductivenomological model on causal explanations.

Author Biography

Eduardo Castro, Universidade da Beira Interior Universidade de Lisboa

Professor na Universidade da Beira Interior e Universidade de Lisboa


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