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Forum for Philosophy

May 1st, 2014

On the Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in Science

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Forum for Philosophy

May 1st, 2014

On the Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in Science

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Bryan Roberts/ Mairi Sakellariadou/ Eleanor Knox

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Thursday 1 May 2014, 6.30 – 8pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE

Bryan Roberts, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

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

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, philosopher of physics Bryan Roberts and theoretical physicist Mairi Sakellariadou commented on Wigner’s question, and then joined a discussion on the issue with philosopher of physics Eleanor Knox.

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