Single Idea 8732

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

Full Idea

It is positively spooky how the physicist finds the mathematician has been there before him or her.

Gist of Idea

It is spooky the way mathematics anticipates physics


Steven Weinberg (Lecture on Applicability of Mathematics [1986], p.725), quoted by Stewart Shapiro - Thinking About Mathematics 2.3

Book Reference

Shapiro,Stewart: 'Thinking About Mathematics' [OUP 2000], p.39

A Reaction

This suggests that mathematics might be the study of possibilities or hypotheticals, like mental rehearsals for physics. See Hellman's modal structuralism. Maybe mathematicians are reading the mind of God, but I doubt that.