more from Oliver,A/Smiley,T

Single Idea 14246

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 7. Application of Mathematics]

Full Idea

If mathematics was purely concerned with mathematical objects, there would be no room for applied mathematics.

Gist of Idea

If mathematics purely concerned mathematical objects, there would be no applied mathematics


Oliver,A/Smiley,T (What are Sets and What are they For? [2006], 5.1)

Book Reference

'Metaphysics (Philosophical Perspectives 20)', ed/tr. Hawthorne,John [Blackwell 2006], p.146

A Reaction

Love it! Of course, they are using 'objects' in the rather Fregean sense of genuine abstract entities. I don't see why fictionalism shouldn't allow maths to be wholly 'pure', although we have invented fictions which actually have application.