Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Mathematics as a Science of Patterns$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael D. Resnik

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198250142

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198250142.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 April 2019

The Elusive Distinction Between Mathematics and Natural Science

The Elusive Distinction Between Mathematics and Natural Science

Chapter:
(p.101) 6 The Elusive Distinction Between Mathematics and Natural Science
Source:
Mathematics as a Science of Patterns
Author(s):

Michael D. Resnik (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198250142.003.0006

It is commonly believed that the epistemology of mathematics must be different from the epistemology of science because their objects are different in kind, i.e. metaphysically different. In this chapter, I want to suggest that some careful work must be done before we can take the distinction between physical and mathematical objects for granted. This distinction has traditionally been drawn by making reference to location, causal powers, detectability in principle, and change in properties. By analysing the ontology of theoretical physics, I wish to show that some physical objects, like quantum particles as they are described by D. Bohm, are as much mathematical as physical, for they do not seem to be located in space and time, and they are as incomplete as mathematical objects. The upshot of this discussion is to address those who are realists about physical objects and anti‐realists about mathematical objects, and, more importantly, to suggest that mathematical realists should not assume that a realist epistemology should be radically different from ordinary scientific epistemology.

Keywords:   Bohm, detectability, epistemology, location, mathematical object, mathematical realism, physical object, quantum particles, quantum physics, science

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .