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Forum for Philosophy

May 5th, 2020

From the vaults: On the Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in Science

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Forum for Philosophy

May 5th, 2020

From the vaults: On the Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in Science

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Eleanor Knox/ Bryan Roberts/ Mairi Sakellariadou


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Galileo famously wrote that natural philosophy is ‘written in the language of mathematics’. Four hundred years later, the great physicist Eugene Wigner puzzled over why. Why is it that abstract pieces of mathematics, like an imaginary number, often later turn out to be surprisingly effective in describing concrete aspects of the natural world? In this event, philosophers of physics and a theoretical physicist ponder Wigner’s question.

 

Speakers
Bryan Roberts
Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE and Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Mairi Sakellariadou
Professor of Theoretical Physics, King’s College London

Chair
Eleanor Knox
Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy, King’s College London

 

Recorded on 1 May 2014 at the LSE

 

 

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