Single Idea 13229

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Lawlike explanations]

Full Idea

Maybe to deduce a theorem as an instance of a generalization is more explanatory than to deduce it correctly.

Gist of Idea

Maybe an instance of a generalisation is more explanatory than the particular case


Mark Steiner (Mathematical Explanation [1978], p.32)

Book Reference

'Philosophy of Mathematics: anthology', ed/tr. Jacquette,Dale [Blackwell 2002], p.32

A Reaction

Steiner eventually comes down against this proposal, on the grounds that some proofs are too general, and hence too far away from the thing they are meant to explain.