The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem (Paperback)
  • The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem (Paperback)

The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem (Paperback)

Paperback 224 Pages
Published: 30/09/2002
Notify me when available

Stay one step ahead and let us notify you when this item is next available to order.

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.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674009707
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 231 g
Dimensions: 202 x 129 mm


The book is clear despite its often technical subject matter, and the main theses are well argued for. It's packed with interesting examples from physics—particularly quantum mechanics…[and] is a valuable addition to the philosophy of science and philosophy of mathematics literature. It presents a rigorous and detailed presentation of a puzzle that I believe is crying out for attention. - Mark Colyvan, Mind

If mathematics is about finding solutions to well-defined problems, then philosophy is about finding problems in what previously we thought were well-established solutions. Mark Steiner's The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem mirrors both sides of this statement, admitting that mathematics is the key to solving problems in the physical sciences, but also asserting that this very applicability of mathematics to physics constitutes a problem...Steiner's challenge to naturalism is accessible, powerful, and well worth pondering. - William A. Dembski, Books & Culture

You may also be interested in...

Theory of Knowledge
Added to basket
The Philosophical Status of Diagrams
Added to basket
Discourse on the Method
Added to basket
£7.45   £3.73
The Cambridge Companion to Frege
Added to basket
Music and Mathematics
Added to basket
How to Solve Mathematical Problems
Added to basket
Letters to a Young Mathematician
Added to basket
Category Theory
Added to basket
Added to basket
The Man Who Knew Infinity
Added to basket
Mathematical Fallacies and Paradoxes
Added to basket
Set Theory and its Philosophy
Added to basket
Philosophy of Mathematics
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.

env: aptum