Indispensability arguments in the philosophy of mathematics

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)
One of the most intriguing features of mathematics is its applicability to empirical science. Every branch of science draws upon large and often diverse portions of mathematics, from the use of Hilbert spaces in quantum mechanics to the use of differential geometry in general relativity. It's not just the physical sciences that avail themselves of the services of mathematics either. Biology, for instance, makes extensive use of difference equations and statistics. The roles mathematics plays in these theories is also varied. Not only does mathematics help with empirical predictions, it allows elegant and economical statement of many theories. Indeed, so important is the language of mathematics to science, that it is hard to imagine how theories such as quantum mechanics and general relativity could even be stated without employing a substantial amount of mathematics.
Keywords mathematics   indispensability   platonism   toread
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Alyssa Ney (2012). Neo-Positivist Metaphysics. Philosophical Studies 160 (1):53-78.
Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard (2014). The Normative Structure of Mathematization in Systematic Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 46 (1):44-54.
Alberto Voltolini (2009). Consequences of Schematism. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (1):135-150.

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