講演者: Prof. Alan Baker (Swarthmore College)
日時: 2019年5月30日(木) 16:30-18:00
Mapping Mathematics to the World
Recent philosophical work on applied mathematics has focused on the way that mathematical structures map onto the structure of physical phenomena. Debate has centered on abstraction, in which aspects of physical structure are left out in the mathematical model, and on physically non-meaningful solutions, in which aspects of the mathematical structure have no physical analogs. In this talk I focus on whether it even makes sense to speak of ‘the physical structure’ in such applied mathematical contexts. Using as examples the classical problem of the bridges of Konigsberg and the more contemporary Manhattan river crossing problem, I argue that unique structure is almost never inherent in a physical phenomenon. Finally, I explore whether adopting a more game-like stance toward applied mathematics may allow conceptual progress to be made.