Authors
Kevin Davey
University of Chicago
Abstract
Many arguments found in the physics literature involve concepts that are not well-defined by the usual standards of mathematics. I argue that physicists are entitled to employ such concepts without rigorously defining them so long as they restrict the sorts of mathematical arguments in which these concepts are involved. Restrictions of this sort allow the physicist to ignore calculations involving these concepts that might lead to contradictory results. I argue that such restrictions need not be ad hoc, but can sometimes be justified by considering some of the metaphysical issues surrounding the question of the applicability of mathematics to physical reality. 1 Introduction 2 Rejecting inferential permissiveness 3 The agreement problem 4 Independent objections to the liberal view.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/54.3.439
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References found in this work BETA

The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.

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Citations of this work BETA

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The Case of the Composite Higgs: The Model as a “Rosetta Stone” in Contemporary High-Energy Physics.Arianna Borrelli - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (3):195-214.
A Formal Construction of the Spacetime Manifold.Thomas Benda - 2008 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 37 (5):441 - 478.

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