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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Evaluating The Quantum Postulate In The Context Of Pursuit, Molly M. Kao Apr 2016

Evaluating The Quantum Postulate In The Context Of Pursuit, Molly M. Kao

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to our understanding of scientific theory pursuit by providing a detailed case study on the development of early quantum theory, from roughly 1900 to 1916.

I first elaborate on why this case should be considered an instance of piecemeal pursuit by presenting the historical quantum conjectures that were being used in different contexts. These conjectures gave varied interpretations of quantization. By comparing these conjectures, I identify a general quantum postulate that captures the underlying assumption common to all the cases. I argue that it is possible to consider a general postulate about ...


Explanatory Proofs And Beautiful Proofs, Marc Lange Jan 2016

Explanatory Proofs And Beautiful Proofs, Marc Lange

Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

This paper concerns the relation between a proof’s beauty and its explanatory power – that is, its capacity to go beyond proving a given theorem to explaining why that theorem holds. Explanatory power and beauty are among the many virtues that mathematicians value and seek in various proofs, and it is important to come to a better understanding of the relations among these virtues. Mathematical practice has long recognized that certain proofs but not others have explanatory power, and this paper offers an account of what makes a proof explanatory. This account is motivated by a wide range of examples ...