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Mathematics is not the only language in the book of nature

Nguyen, James and Frigg, Roman ORCID: 0000-0003-0812-0907 (2017) Mathematics is not the only language in the book of nature. Synthese. ISSN 0039-7857

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11229-017-1526-5


How does mathematics apply to something non-mathematical? We distinguish between a general application problem and a special application problem. A critical examination of the answer that structural mapping accounts offer to the former problem leads us to identify a lacuna in these accounts: they have to presuppose that target systems are structured and yet leave this presupposition unexplained. We propose to fill this gap with an account that attributes structures to targets through structure generating descriptions. These descriptions are physical descriptions and so there is no such thing as a solely mathematical account of a target system.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Centre for Analysis of Time Series
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2017 10:13
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 19:03

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