Foundations of Science

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 39-52

First online:

Essential Tension: Mathematics - Physics - Philosophy

  • Michael HellerAffiliated withVatican Observatory

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The author focuses on the tension "realism - idealism" in the philosophy of mathematics, but he does that from the perspective of a theoretical physicist. It is not only that one's standpoint in the philosophy of mathematics determines our understanding of the effectiveness of mathematics in physics, but also the fact that mathematics is so effective in physical sciences tells us something about the nature of mathematics.

Ontology Physical theory Duhem-Quine thesis