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Special Issue: on Explanation and Understanding within Mathematics

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Call for Papers (Enter the SUBMISSION DEADLINE as the date above. Submit EVENT separately.)


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Special issue Axiomathes
Explanation and Understanding within Mathematics Guest Editor: Joachim Frans

Philosophers of mathematics, certainly in the last decades, have tried to understand

and evaluate the idea that mathematicians can be interested in more than the

justification of mathematical results. Mathematicians can be interested, among other

things, in explaining or understanding mathematical results. A small yet growing body of

literature deals with analyzing what it could mean that something in mathematics has

explanatory value, for example by looking at the notion of explanatory proof. Others

have proposed to explicate the notion of mathematical understanding. Following recent

trends in the philosophy of science, it can also be fruitful to investigate explanation and

understanding more intimately. The objective of this issue is to continue these recent

traditions by bringing together new philosophical insights into the nature of explanation

and understanding within mathematics.

We invite contributions that deal with topics such as:

• The explanatory value of mathematical proofs

• Mathematical explanation beyond proof

• Mathematical understanding

• The relation between mathematical explanation and understanding

• The relation between explanation/understanding and other mathematical values

(e.g., simplicity, beauty, depth)

• Case studies from the practice or history of mathematics

• The fruitfulness of accounts of scientific explanation/understanding in philosophy of


The deadline for submission is June 15th 2020. A standard refereeing process will


Papers should be submitted via the Axiomathes editorial manager


When preparing your paper, please read the journal’s ‘Instructions for authors’

For further information, please contact Joachim Frans (

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