Mathematical explanation in computer science

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


This note scouts a broad class of explanations of central importance to contemporary computer science. These explanations, which I call 'limitative' explanations, explain why certain problems cannot be solved computationally. Limitative explanations are philosophically rich, but have not received the attention they deserve. The primary goals of this note are to isolate limitative explanations and provide a preliminary account of what makes them explanatory. On the account I favour, limitative explanations are best understood as non-causal mathematical explanations which depend on highly idealized models of computation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2022
EventThe 28th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association - Pittsburgh, United States
Duration: 10 Nov 202213 Nov 2022


ConferenceThe 28th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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