Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Talk (Work in Progress): William D´Alessandro (MCMP)

Location: Ludwigstr. 31, ground floor, room 021

21.07.2022 12:00  – 14:00 


Mathematical Explanation and Understanding: A Noetic Account


We defend a noetic account of intramathematical explanation. On this view, a piece of mathematics is explanatory just in case it produces understanding of an appropriate sort. We motivate the view by presenting some appealing features of noeticism. We then discuss and criticize the most prominent extant version of noeticism, due to Matthew Inglis and Juan-Pablo Mejía-Ramos, which identifies explanatory understanding with the possession of detailed cognitive schemas. Finally, we present a novel noetic account. On our view, explanatory understanding arises from meeting specific explanatory objectives, the theory of which we briefly set out. [This talk is based on joint work with Ellen Lehet.]