A new role for mathematics in empirical sciences

Date

2021

Authors

Kasirzadeh, Atoosa

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Abstract

Mathematics is often taken to play one of two roles in the empirical sciences: either it represents empirical phenomena or it explains these phenomena by imposing constraints on them. This article identifies a third and distinct role that has not been fully appreciated in the literature on applicability of mathematics and may be pervasive in scientific practice. I call this the “bridging” role of mathematics, according to which mathematics acts as a connecting scheme in our explanatory reasoning about why and how two different descriptions of an empirical phenomenon relate to each other. I discuss two bridging roles appearing in biological and physical explanations.

Description

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Citation

Source

Philosophy of Science

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1086/713906

Restricted until

2099-12-31