[FoRK] Re: House Rules Re: The drum beat continues

Russell Turpin < deafbox at hotmail.com > on > Wed Nov 22 14:52:04 PST 2006

Corinna <corinna.schultz at gmail.com>:
>This may be a crucial difference. There are people who think math 
>is/reflects reality, and people who think math is a model of reality.

And I think both views are mistaken. ;-)

The natural numbers are quite good at keeping track of how many
sheep one has, but rather less useful for telling how much the
wind is blowing. I wouldn't say that math is a model of reality,
but that various models of reality incorporate certain pieces of
mathematics as part of the model. Importantly, the math is not a
a model by itself, because the model must say how the math is
applied. Vector calculus is not itself Newtonian physics. The
math of Hilbert spaces is not itself quantum mechanics. Of course,
these fields are so mathematical that understanding the math is a
large part of understanding the model. "Large part," not "whole
part."

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