Volume 11, Issue 2, 2019
Mathematical understanding and “What if things had been different?” questions
According to Grimm (2014), we only understand a phenomenon if we know what other phenomena it depends on, and we identify dependencies according to how we answer “What if things had been different?” questions. I argue that this view meets with mathematical counterexamples. For, in mathematics, things couldn't have been different. I consider three replies Grimm may make, and argue they do not succeed.