Daniel Waxman
National University of Singapore
Many mathematicians, physicists, and philosophers have suggested that the fact that mathematics—an a priori discipline informed substantially by aesthetic considerations—can be applied to natural science is mysterious. This paper sharpens and responds to a challenge to this effect. I argue that the aesthetic considerations used to evaluate and motivate mathematics are much more closely connected with the physical world than one might presume, and (with reference to case-studies within Galois theory and probabilistic number theory) show that they are correlated with generally recognized theoretical virtues, such as explanatory depth, unifying power, fruitfulness, and importance.
Keywords applicability of mathematics  Wigner  aesthetics  unreasonable effectiveness
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2020.1724164
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Mathematical Truth.Paul Benacerraf - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):661-679.
The Indispensability of Mathematics.Mark Colyvan - 2001 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

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