Cover: The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem, from Harvard University PressCover: The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem in PAPERBACK

The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$37.50 • £30.95 • €34.00

ISBN 9780674009707

Publication Date: 09/30/2002

Short

224 pages

6 line illustrations, 2 tables

World

Related Subjects

This book analyzes the different ways mathematics is applicable in the physical sciences, and presents a startling thesis—the success of mathematical physics appears to assign the human mind a special place in the cosmos.

Mark Steiner distinguishes among the semantic problems that arise from the use of mathematics in logical deduction; the metaphysical problems that arise from the alleged gap between mathematical objects and the physical world; the descriptive problems that arise from the use of mathematics to describe nature; and the epistemological problems that arise from the use of mathematics to discover those very descriptions.

The epistemological problems lead to the thesis about the mind. It is frequently claimed that the universe is indifferent to human goals and values, and therefore, Locke and Peirce, for example, doubted science’s ability to discover the laws governing the humanly unobservable. Steiner argues that, on the contrary, these laws were discovered, using manmade mathematical analogies, resulting in an anthropocentric picture of the universe as “user friendly” to human cognition—a challenge to the entrenched dogma of naturalism.

From Our Blog

Jacket: Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America, by Nathaniel Frank, from Harvard University Press

Celebrating Pride Month

To celebrate Pride Month, we are highlighting excerpts from books that explore the lives and experiences of the LGBT+ community. Nathaniel Frank’s Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America tells the dramatic story of the struggle for same-sex couples to legally marry, something that is now taken for granted. Below, he describes the beginnings of the gay rights movement. For homophiles of the 1950s, identifying as gay was almost always a risky and radical act