# The Application of Mathematics

Edited by Nora Berenstain (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
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1. A Puzzle about Sums.Andrew Y. Lee - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.
A famous mathematical theorem says that the sum of an infinite series of numbers can depend on the order in which those numbers occur. Suppose we interpret the numbers in such a series as representing instances of some physical quantity, such as the weights of a collection of items. The mathematics seems to lead to the result that the weight of a collection of items can depend on the order in which those items are weighed. But that is very hard (...)

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2. Ian Hacking, Why Is There Philosophy of Mathematics at All? [REVIEW]Max Harris Siegel - forthcoming - Mind 124.

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3. Du Châtelet’s Philosophy of Mathematics.Aaron Wells - forthcoming - In Fatema Amijee (ed.), The Bloomsbury Handbook of Du Châtelet. Bloomsbury.
I begin by outlining Du Châtelet’s ontology of mathematical objects: she is an idealist, and mathematical objects are fictions dependent on acts of abstraction. Next, I consider how this idealism can be reconciled with her endorsement of necessary truths in mathematics, which are grounded in essences that we do not create. Finally, I discuss how mathematics and physics relate within Du Châtelet’s idealism. Because the primary objects of physics are partly grounded in the same kinds of acts as yield mathematical (...)

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4. On Mereology and Metricality.Zee R. Perry - 2024 - Philosophers' Imprint 23.
This article motivates and develops a reductive account of the structure of certain physical quantities in terms of their mereology. That is, I argue that quantitative relations like "longer than" or "3.6-times the volume of" can be analyzed in terms of necessary constraints those quantities put on the mereological structure of their instances. The resulting account, I argue, is able to capture the intuition that these quantitative relations are intrinsic to the physical systems they’re called upon to describe and explain.

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5. Number Concepts: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry.Richard Samuels & Eric Snyder - 2024 - Cambridge University Press.
This Element, written for researchers and students in philosophy and the behavioral sciences, reviews and critically assesses extant work on number concepts in developmental psychology and cognitive science. It has four main aims. First, it characterizes the core commitments of mainstream number cognition research, including the commitment to representationalism, the hypothesis that there exist certain number-specific cognitive systems, and the key milestones in the development of number cognition. Second, it provides a taxonomy of influential views within mainstream number cognition research, (...)

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6. Edgeworth’s Mathematization of Social Well-Being.Adrian K. Yee - 2024 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 103 (C):5-15.
Francis Ysidro Edgeworth’s unduly neglected monograph New and Old Methods of Ethics (1877) advances a highly sophisticated and mathematized account of social well-being in the utilitarian tradition of his 19th-century contemporaries. This article illustrates how his usage of the ‘calculus of variations’ was combined with findings from empirical psychology and economic theory to construct a consequentialist axiological framework. A conclusion is drawn that Edgeworth is a methodological predecessor to several important methods, ideas, and issues that continue to be discussed in (...)

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7. Human Thought, Mathematics, and Physical Discovery.Gila Sher - 2023 - In Carl Posy & Yemima Ben-Menahem (eds.), Mathematical Knowledge, Objects and Applications: Essays in Memory of Mark Steiner. Springer. pp. 301-325.
In this paper I discuss Mark Steiner’s view of the contribution of mathematics to physics and take up some of the questions it raises. In particular, I take up the question of discovery and explore two aspects of this question – a metaphysical aspect and a related epistemic aspect. The metaphysical aspect concerns the formal structure of the physical world. Does the physical world have mathematical or formal features or constituents, and what is the nature of these constituents? The related (...)

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8. Four-Way Turiyam based Characterization of Non-Euclidean Geometry.Prem Kumar Singh - 2023 - Journal of Neutrosophic and Fuzzy Ststems 5 (2):69-80.
Recently, a problem is addressed while dealing the data with Non-Euclidean Geometry and its characterization. The mathematician found negation of fifth postulates of Euclidean geometry easily and called as Non-Euclidean geometry. However Riemannian provided negation of second postulates also which still considered as Non-Euclidean. In this case the problem arises what will happen in case negation of other Euclid Postulates exists. Same time total total or partial negation of Euclid postulates fails as hybrid Geometry. It become more crucial in case (...)

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9. “In Nature as in Geometry”: Du Châtelet and the Post-Newtonian Debate on the Physical Significance of Mathematical Objects.Aaron Wells - 2023 - In Wolfgang Lefèvre (ed.), Between Leibniz, Newton, and Kant: Philosophy and Science in the Eighteenth Century. Springer. pp. 69-98.
Du Châtelet holds that mathematical representations play an explanatory role in natural science. Moreover, she writes that things proceed in nature as they do in geometry. How should we square these assertions with Du Châtelet’s idealism about mathematical objects, on which they are ‘fictions’ dependent on acts of abstraction? The question is especially pressing because some of her important interlocutors (Wolff, Maupertuis, and Voltaire) denied that mathematics informs us about the properties of material things. After situating Du Châtelet in this (...)

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10. Mathematics as a science of non-abstract reality: Aristotelian realist philosophies of mathematics.James Franklin - 2022 - Foundations of Science 27 (2):327-344.
There is a wide range of realist but non-Platonist philosophies of mathematics—naturalist or Aristotelian realisms. Held by Aristotle and Mill, they played little part in twentieth century philosophy of mathematics but have been revived recently. They assimilate mathematics to the rest of science. They hold that mathematics is the science of X, where X is some observable feature of the (physical or other non-abstract) world. Choices for X include quantity, structure, pattern, complexity, relations. The article lays out and compares these (...)

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11. Structure and applied mathematics.Travis McKenna - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-31.
‘Mapping accounts’ of applied mathematics hold that the application of mathematics in physical science is best understood in terms of ‘mappings’ between mathematical structures and physical structures. In this paper, I suggest that mapping accounts rely on the assumption that the mathematics relevant to any application of mathematics in empirical science can be captured in an appropriate mathematical structure. If we are interested in assessing the plausibility of mapping accounts, we must ask ourselves: how plausible is this assumption as a (...)

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12. A Dilemma for Mathematical Constructivism.Samuel Kahn - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (1):63-72.
In this paper I argue that constructivism in mathematics faces a dilemma. In particular, I maintain that constructivism is unable to explain (i) the application of mathematics to nature and (ii) the intersubjectivity of mathematics unless (iii) it is conjoined with two theses that reduce it to a form of mathematical Platonism. The paper is divided into five sections. In the first section of the paper, I explain the difference between mathematical constructivism and mathematical Platonism and I outline my argument. (...)

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13. Mathematical application and the no confirmation thesis.Kenneth Boyce - 2020 - Analysis 80 (1):11-20.
Some proponents of the indispensability argument for mathematical realism maintain that the empirical evidence that confirms our best scientific theories and explanations also confirms their pure mathematical components. I show that the falsity of this view follows from three highly plausible theses, two of which concern the nature of mathematical application and the other the nature of empirical confirmation. The first is that the background mathematical theories suitable for use in science are conservative in the sense outlined by Hartry Field. (...)

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14. Otávio Bueno* and Steven French.**Applying Mathematics: Immersion, Inference, Interpretation. [REVIEW]Anthony F. Peressini - 2020 - Philosophia Mathematica 28 (1):116-127.
Otávio Bueno* * and Steven French.** ** Applying Mathematics: Immersion, Inference, Interpretation. Oxford University Press, 2018. ISBN: 978-0-19-881504-4 978-0-19-185286-2. doi:10.1093/oso/9780198815044. 001.0001. Pp. xvii + 257.

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15. Mathematical Representation and Explanation: structuralism, the similarity account, and the hotchpotch picture.Ziren Yang - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
This thesis starts with three challenges to the structuralist accounts of applied mathematics. Structuralism views applied mathematics as a matter of building mapping functions between mathematical and target-ended structures. The first challenge concerns how it is possible for a non-mathematical target to be represented mathematically when the mapping functions per se are mathematical objects. The second challenge arises out of inconsistent early calculus, which suggests that mathematical representation does not require rigorous mathematical structures. The third challenge comes from renormalisation group (...)

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16. Eu dou uma revisão detalhada de "os limites exteriores da razão" por Noson Yanofsky de uma perspectiva unificada de Wittgenstein e psicologia evolutiva. Eu indico que a dificuldade com tais questões como paradoxo na linguagem e matemática, incompletude, undecidabilidade, computabilidade, o cérebro eo universo como computadores, etc., todos surgem a partir da falta de olhar atentamente para o nosso uso da linguagem no apropriado contexto e, consequentemente, a falta de separar questões de fato científico a partir de questões de como (...)

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17. Filosofia Aplicabilitatii Matematicii: Intre Irational si Rational.Catalin Barboianu - 2018 - Târgu Jiu, Romania: Infarom.
Lucrarea tratează unul dintre “misterele” filosofiei analitice şi ale raţionalităţii însăşi, anume aplicabilitatea matematicii în ştiinţe şi în investigarea matematică a realităţii înconjurătoare, a cărei filosofie este dezvoltată în jurul sintagmei – de acum paradigmatice – ‘eficacitatea iraţională a matematicii’, aparţinând fizicianului Eugene Wigner, problemă filosofică etichetată în literatură drept “puzzle-ul lui Wigner”. Odată intraţi în profunzimea acestei probleme, investigaţia nu trebuie limitată la căutarea unor răspunsuri explicative la întrebări precum “Ce este de fapt aplicabilitatea matematicii?”, “Cum explicăm prezenţa în (...)

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18. Émilie du Châtelet’s Institutions physiques. Über die Rolle von Hypothesen und Prinzipien in der Physik. [REVIEW]Clara Carus - 2018 - Mathematical Intelligencer 40:75–76.

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19. Reconstruction in Philosophy of Mathematics.Davide Rizza - 2018 - Dewey Studies 2 (2):31-53.
Throughout his work, John Dewey seeks to emancipate philosophical reflection from the influence of the classical tradition he traces back to Plato and Aristotle. For Dewey, this tradition rests upon a conception of knowledge based on the separation between theory and practice, which is incompatible with the structure of scientific inquiry. Philosophical work can make progress only if it is freed from its traditional heritage, i.e. only if it undergoes reconstruction. In this study I show that implicit appeals to the (...)

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20. Rolul constitutiv al matematicii in stiinta structurala.Catalin Barboianu - 2017 - Târgu Jiu, Romania: Infarom.
Problemele filosofie sensibile pe care le pune aplicabilitatea matematicii în ştiinţe şi viaţa de zi cu zi au conturat, pe un fond interdisciplinar, o nouă “ramură” a filosofiei ştiinţei, anume filosofia aplicabilităţii matematicii. Aplicarea cu succes a matematicii de-a lungul istoriei ştiinţei necesită reprezentare, încadrare, explicaţie, dar şi o justificare de ordin metateoretic a aplicabilităţii. Între rolurile matematicii în practica ştiinţifică, rolul constitutiv teoriilor ştiinţifice este cel a cărui analiză poate contribui esenţial la această justificare. În lucrarea de faţă, am (...)

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21. The Applicability of Mathematics to Physical Modality.Nora Berenstain - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3361-3377.
This paper argues that scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between the mathematical entities that are indispensible to scientific explanation and the modal structure of the empirical phenomena those entities explain. The argument presupposes that scientific realism commits us to the indispensability argument. The viewpresented here is that the indispensability of mathematics commits us not only to the existence of mathematical structures and entities but to a metaphysical determination relation between those entities and the modal structure of (...)

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22. Early Modern Mathematical Principles and Symmetry Arguments.James Franklin - 2017 - In Franklin J. W. (ed.), The Idea of Principles in Early Modern Thought Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 16-44.
The leaders of the Scientific Revolution were not Baconian in temperament, in trying to build up theories from data. Their project was that same as in Aristotle's Posterior Analytics: they hoped to find necessary principles that would show why the observations must be as they are. Their use of mathematics to do so expanded the Aristotelian project beyond the qualitative methods used by Aristotle and the scholastics. In many cases they succeeded.

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23. Research Habits in Financial Modelling: The Case of Non-normativity of Market Returns in the 1970s and the 1980s.Boudewijn De Bruin & Christian Walter - 2016 - In Ping Chen & Emiliano Ippoliti (eds.), Methods and Finance: A Unifying View on Finance, Mathematics and Philosophy. Cham: Springer. pp. 73-93.
In this chapter, one considers finance at its very foundations, namely, at the place where assumptions are being made about the ways to measure the two key ingredients of finance: risk and return. It is well known that returns for a large class of assets display a number of stylized facts that cannot be squared with the traditional views of 1960s financial economics (normality and continuity assumptions, i.e. Brownian representation of market dynamics). Despite the empirical counterevidence, normality and continuity assumptions (...)

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24. Fundamentality, Effectiveness, and Objectivity of Gauge Symmetries.Aldo Filomeno - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):19-37.
Much recent philosophy of physics has investigated the process of symmetry breaking. Here, I critically assess the alleged symmetry restoration at the fundamental scale. I draw attention to the contingency that gauge symmetries exhibit, that is, the fact that they have been chosen from an infinite space of possibilities. I appeal to this feature of group theory to argue that any metaphysical account of fundamental laws that expects symmetry restoration up to the fundamental level is not fully satisfactory. This is (...)

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25. Creating a New Mathematics.Arran Gare - 2016 - In Ronny Desmet (ed.), Intuition in Mathematics and Physics. pp. 146-164.
The focus of this chapter is on efforts to create a new mathematics, with my prime interest being the role of mathematics in comprehending a world consisting first and foremost of processes, and examining what developments in mathematics are required for this. I am particularly interested in developments in mathematics able to do justice to the reality of life. Such mathematics could provide the basis for advancing ecology, human ecology and ecological economics and thereby assist in the transformation of society (...)

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26. Avoiding reification: Heuristic effectiveness of mathematics and the prediction of the omega minus particle.Michele Ginammi - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:20-27.
According to Steiner (1998), in contemporary physics new important discoveries are often obtained by means of strategies which rely on purely formal mathematical considerations. In such discoveries, mathematics seems to have a peculiar and controversial role, which apparently cannot be accounted for by means of standard methodological criteria. M. Gell-Mann and Y. Ne׳eman׳s prediction of the Ω− particle is usually considered a typical example of application of this kind of strategy. According to Bangu (2008), this prediction is apparently based on (...)

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27. The Nature of the Structures of Applied Mathematics and the Metatheoretical Justification for the Mathematical Modeling.Catalin Barboianu - 2015 - Romanian Journal of Analytic Philosophy 9 (2):1-32.
The classical (set-theoretic) concept of structure has become essential for every contemporary account of a scientific theory, but also for the metatheoretical accounts dealing with the adequacy of such theories and their methods. In the latter category of accounts, and in particular, the structural metamodels designed for the applicability of mathematics have struggled over the last decade to justify the use of mathematical models in sciences beyond their 'indispensability' in terms of either method or concepts/entities. In this paper, I argue (...)

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28. Proof phenomenon as a function of the phenomenology of proving.Inês Hipólito - 2015 - Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 119:360-367.
Kurt Gödel wrote (1964, p. 272), after he had read Husserl, that the notion of objectivity raises a question: “the question of the objective existence of the objects of mathematical intuition (which, incidentally, is an exact replica of the question of the objective existence of the outer world)”. This “exact replica” brings to mind the close analogy Husserl saw between our intuition of essences in Wesensschau and of physical objects in perception. What is it like to experience a mathematical proving (...)

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29. From Mathematics to Quantum Mechanics - On the Conceptual Unity of Cassirer’s Philosophy of Science.Thomas Mormann - 2015 - In J. Tyler Friedman & Sebastian Luft (eds.), The Philosophy of Ernst Cassirer: A Novel Assessment. Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 31-64.

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30. Global and local.James Franklin - 2014 - Mathematical Intelligencer 36 (4).
The global/local contrast is ubiquitous in mathematics. This paper explains it with straightforward examples. It is possible to build a circular staircase that is rising at any point (locally) but impossible to build one that rises at all points and comes back to where it started (a global restriction). Differential equations describe the local structure of a process; their solution describes the global structure that results. The interplay between global and local structure is one of the great themes of mathematics, (...)

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31. Mathematical representation: playing a role.Kate Hodesdon - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):769-782.
The primary justification for mathematical structuralism is its capacity to explain two observations about mathematical objects, typically natural numbers. Non-eliminative structuralism attributes these features to the particular ontology of mathematics. I argue that attributing the features to an ontology of structural objects conflicts with claims often made by structuralists to the effect that their structuralist theses are versions of Quine’s ontological relativity or Putnam’s internal realism. I describe and argue for an alternative explanation for these features which instead explains the (...)

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32. Abstract Expressionism and the Communication Problem.David Liggins - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (3):599-620.
Some philosophers have recently suggested that the reason mathematics is useful in science is that it expands our expressive capacities. Of these philosophers, only Stephen Yablo has put forward a detailed account of how mathematics brings this advantage. In this article, I set out Yablo’s view and argue that it is implausible. Then, I introduce a simpler account and show it is a serious rival to Yablo’s. 1 Introduction2 Yablo’s Expressionism3 Psychological Objections to Yablo’s Expressionism4 Introducing Belief Expressionism5 Objections and (...)

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33. Critical Review of Mathematics and Scientific Representation. [REVIEW]Sean Walsh, Eleanor Knox & Adam Caulton - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):460-469.

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34. Regel und Witz. Wittgensteinsche Perspektiven auf Mathematik, Sprache und Moral. [REVIEW]Ulf Hlobil - 2010 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 64 (3):416-419.
Review of Timo-Peter Ertz's "Regel und Witz. Wittgensteinsche Perspektiven auf Mathematik, Sprache und Moral," Berlin & New York: de Gruyter, 2008.

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35. Wisdom Mathematics.Nicholas Maxwell - 2010 - Friends of Wisdom Newsletter (6):1-6.
For over thirty years I have argued that all branches of science and scholarship would have both their intellectual and humanitarian value enhanced if pursued in accordance with the edicts of wisdom-inquiry rather than knowledge-inquiry. I argue that this is true of mathematics. Viewed from the perspective of knowledge-inquiry, mathematics confronts us with two fundamental problems. (1) How can mathematics be held to be a branch of knowledge, in view of the difficulties that view engenders? What could mathematics be knowledge (...)

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36. Inference to the best explanation and mathematical realism.Sorin Ioan Bangu - 2008 - Synthese 160 (1):13-20.
Arguing for mathematical realism on the basis of Field’s explanationist version of the Quine–Putnam Indispensability argument, Alan Baker has recently claimed to have found an instance of a genuine mathematical explanation of a physical phenomenon. While I agree that Baker presents a very interesting example in which mathematics plays an essential explanatory role, I show that this example, and the argument built upon it, begs the question against the mathematical nominalist.

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37. Numbers without Science.Russell Marcus - 2007 - Dissertation, The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York
Numbers without Science opposes the Quine-Putnam indispensability argument, seeking to undermine the argument and reduce its profound influence. Philosophers rely on indispensability to justify mathematical knowledge using only empiricist epistemology. I argue that we need an independent account of our knowledge of mathematics. The indispensability argument, in broad form, consists of two premises. The major premise alleges that we are committed to mathematical objects if science requires them. The minor premise alleges that science in fact requires mathematical objects. The most (...)

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38. Zeno of Elea' Paradoxes (The Dialectic of Stability and Motion from a Contemporary Mathematical View) مفارقات زينون: جدل الثبات والحركة من منظور رياضي معاصر.Salah Osman - 2004 - Menoufia University, Faculty of Arts Journal, Egypt 58:99 - 139.
لا شك أن مفارقات زينون في الحركة قد تم تناولها – تحليلاً ونقدًا – في كثيرٍ من أدبيات العلم والفلسفة قديمًا وحديثًا، حتى لقد ساد الظن بأن ملف المفارقات قد أغُلق تمامًا، لاسيما بعد أن نجح الحساب التحليلي في التعامل منطقيًا مع صعوبات الأعداد اللامتناهية، لكن الفرض الأساسي لهذا البحث يزعم عكس ذلك؛ أعني أن الملف مازال مفتوحًا وبقوة – خصوصًا على المستوى الرياضي الفيزيائي – وأن إغلاقه النهائي قد لا يتم في المستقبل القريب. من جهة أخرى، إذا كانت فكرة (...)

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39. As dizimas periódicas na filosofia da matemática de Wittgenstein.André Porto - 2003 - Philósophos - Revista de Filosofia 8 (2).
O presente artigo tem como tema as extensas discussões de Wittgenstein sobre uma das formas mais simples e elementares de infinitude em matemática: as dízimas periódicas. Tentamos organizar os vários argumentos do autor em uma única exposição continuada. No final do artigo, introduzimos, ainda que de forma breve, o famoso argumento sobre “execução de regras” de Wittgenstein, bem como a idéia de interpretações nãostandard de processos infinitos.

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40. Mathematical necessity and reality.James Franklin - 1989 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 67 (3):286 – 294.
Einstein, like most philosophers, thought that there cannot be mathematical truths which are both necessary and about reality. The article argues against this, starting with prima facie examples such as "It is impossible to tile my bathroom floor with regular pentagonal tiles." Replies are given to objections based on the supposedly purely logical or hypothetical nature of mathematics.

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41. Mathematics, The Computer Revolution and the Real World.James Franklin - 1988 - Philosophica 42:79-92.
The philosophy of mathematics has largely abandoned foundational studies, but is still fixated on theorem proving, logic and number theory, and on whether mathematical knowledge is certain. That is not what mathematics looks like to, say, a knot theorist or an industrial mathematical modeller. The "computer revolution" shows that mathematics is a much more direct study of the world, especially its structural aspects.

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42. In this paper, I consider the use of mathematical results in philosophical arguments arriving at conclusions with non-mathematical content, with the view that in general such usage requires additional justification. As a cautionary example, I examine Kreisel’s arguments that the Continuum Hypothesis is determined by the axioms of Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, and interpret Weston’s 1976 reply as showing that Kreisel fails to provide sufficient justification for the use of his main technical result. If we take the perspective that mathematical results (...)

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43. We show that critically accumulating "difficult" problems, contradictions and stagnation in modern science have the unified and well-specified mathematical origin in the explicit, artificial reduction of any interaction problem solution to an "exact", dynamically single-valued (or unitary) function, while in reality any unreduced interaction development leads to a dynamically multivalued solution describing many incompatible system configurations, or "realisations", that permanently replace one another in causally random order. We obtain thus the universal concept of dynamic complexity and chaos impossible in unitary (...)