Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)

Authors
Mark Colyvan
University of Sydney
Abstract
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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References found in this work BETA

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. V. O. Quine - 2011 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 202-220.
The Indispensability of Mathematics.Mark Colyvan - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Mathematics as a Science of Patterns.Michael D. Resnik - 1997 - New York ;Oxford University Press.

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