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Synthese

, Volume 190, Issue 3, pp 509–524 | Cite as

Explanation by induction?

  • Miguel Hoeltje
  • Benjamin Schnieder
  • Alex Steinberg
Article

Abstract

Philosophers of mathematics commonly distinguish between explanatory and non-explanatory proofs. An important subclass of mathematical proofs are proofs by induction. Are they explanatory? This paper addresses the question, based on general principles about explanation. First, a recent argument for a negative answer is discussed and rebutted. Second, a case is made for a qualified positive take on the issue.

Keywords

Mathematical induction Mathematical explanation Logic of explanation Grounding 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Hoeltje
    • 1
  • Benjamin Schnieder
    • 2
  • Alex Steinberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Universität Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  2. 2.Universität HamburgHamburgGermany

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