When Mathematics Became Useful to Science

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Submission Summary
Mathematics is the “language of nature,” a privileged mode of expression in science. We think it latches onto something essential about the physical universe, and we seek theories that reduce phenomena to mathematical laws. Yet, this attitude could not arise from the philosophies dominant before the early modern period. In orthodox Aristotelianism, mathematical categories are too impoverished to capture the causal structure of the world. In the revived Platonism of its opponents, the natural world is too corrupt to exemplify mathematical perfection. Modern mathematical science required a novel tertium quid, due to Pietro Catena.
Submission ID :
PSA2022457
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