Counter countermathematical explanations

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Recently, there have been several attempts to generalize the counterfactual theory of causal explanations to mathematical explanations. The central idea of these attempts is to use conditionals whose antecedents express a mathematical impossibility. Such countermathematical conditionals are plugged into the explanatory scheme of the counterfactual theory and—so is the hope—capture mathematical explanations. Here, I dash the hope that countermathematical explanations simply parallel counterfactual explanations. In particular, I show that explanations based on countermathematicals are susceptible to three problems counterfactual explanations do not face. These problems seriously challenge the prospects for a counterfactual theory of explanation that is meant to cover mathematical explanations. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date8 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Nov 2021


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