CFP: Explanation and Understanding Within Mathematics

Submission deadline: June 15, 2020

Topic areas


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 mathematics 

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

Papers should be submitted via the Axiomathes editorial manager at When the system asks you to “Choose Article Type”, please scroll down in the pull-down menu to choose this special issue.

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

For further information, please contact Joachim Frans (

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