Applying Mathematics: Two Models

Jody Azzouni

in Deflating Existential Consequence

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195159882
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199834990 | DOI:
 Applying Mathematics: Two Models

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Several applications of mathematics to empirical domains are described, including a small portion of Newtonian mechanics. The simplest case is one where a nonmathematical empirical description of the domain of application is already in place. A far more (ontologically) complicated case is one where no such empirical description is in place; instead mathematical nomenclature is applied empirically by reinterpreting some of that nomenclature as empirically referring. A concern due to Mark Steiner, that the empirical success of the drafting of mathematical kind-terms for the role of projectable (empirical) predicates in empirical theories, involves an unexplained methodological miracle, is shown to be groundless.

Keywords: applying mathematics; methodological miracles; Newtonian mechanics; projectability; reinterpreting mathematical nomenclature; Mark Steiner

Chapter.  10482 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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