David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophy 86 (9):449-480 (1989)
The first part of the essay describes how mathematics, in particular mathematical concepts, are applicable to nature. mathematical constructs have turned out to correspond to physical reality. this correlation between the world and mathematical concepts, it is argued, is a true phenomenon. the second part of this essay argues that the applicability of mathematics to nature is mysterious, in that not only is there no known explanation for the correlation between mathematics and physical reality, but there is a good reason to except no such correlation. it is argued that there is a subjective element in the decision as to what constitutes a mathematical concept. a number of purported solutions to the mystery of the applicability of mathematics to nature are discarded, until we are left with eugene wigner's thesis that we are here confronted with a "miracle that we neither understand nor deserve."
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Axel Gelfert (2009). Rigorous Results, Cross-Model Justification, and the Transfer of Empirical Warrant: The Case of Many-Body Models in Physics. Synthese 169 (3):497 - 519.
Sorin Bangu (2009). Wigner's Puzzle for Mathematical Naturalism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):245-263.
James Franklin (1994). The Formal Sciences Discover the Philosophers' Stone. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 25 (4):513-533.
Martin H. Krieger (1991). Theorems as Meaningful Cultural Artifacts: Making the World Additive. Synthese 88 (2):135 - 154.
Similar books and articles
M. Kary (2009). (Math, Science, ?). Axiomathes 19 (3):61-86.
Thomas Tymoczko (1991). Mathematics, Science and Ontology. Synthese 88 (2):201 - 228.
Christopher Pincock (2009). Towards a Philosophy of Applied Mathematics. In Otávio Bueno & Øystein Linnebo (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mathematics. Palgrave Macmillan.
Steven French (2000). The Reasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics: Partial Structures and the Application of Group Theory to Physics. Synthese 125 (1-2):103 - 120.
Leon Horsten, Philosophy of Mathematics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Jean De Groot (2006). A Husserlian Perspective on Empirical Mathematics in Aristotle. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80:91-99.
Penelope J. Maddy (2001). Some Naturalistic Reflections on Set Theoretic Method. Topoi 20 (1):17-27.
Alberto Artosi (2010). Please Don't Use Science or Mathematics in Arguing for Human Rights or Natural Law. Ratio Juris 23 (3):311-332.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads71 ( #29,374 of 1,696,538 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #56,622 of 1,696,538 )
How can I increase my downloads?