Single Idea 10261

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / b. Indispensability of mathematics]

Full Idea

Field argues that to account for the applicability of mathematics, we need to assume little more than the possibility of the mathematics, not its truth.

Gist of Idea

The application of mathematics only needs its possibility, not its truth


report of Hartry Field (Science without Numbers [1980]) by Stewart Shapiro - Philosophy of Mathematics 7.2

Book Reference

Shapiro,Stewart: 'Philosophy of Mathematics:structure and ontology' [OUP 1997], p.223

A Reaction

Very persuasive. We can apply chess to real military situations, provided that chess isn't self-contradictory (or even naturally impossible?).