Mathematics and its applications

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Abstract

If mathematics, unlike entomology, is unreasonably effective, it should be possible to say with, at least some precision, what it means for a mathematical object, structure, or theory to be applied to an object, structure or theory that is resolutely not mathematical. If it is possible to say as much, I have not found a way in which to say it. Mathematics is about mathematics; and so far as the Great Beyond is concerned, while it is obvious that mathematics is often applied, it is anything but obvious how this is done.

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Berlinski, D. (2015). Mathematics and its applications. In Mathematics, Substance and Surmise: Views on the Meaning and Ontology of Mathematics (pp. 101–131). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-21473-3_6

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