The Mystery of Applied Mathematics?: A Case Study in Mathematical Development Involving the Fractional Derivative†: Articles

Philosophia Mathematica 22 (1):35-69 (2014)

Abstract

I discuss the applicability of mathematics via a detailed case study involving a family of mathematical concepts known as ‘fractional derivatives.’ Certain formulations of the mystery of applied mathematics would lead one to believe that there ought to be a mystery about the applicability of fractional derivatives. I argue, however, that there is no clear mystery about their applicability. Thus, via this case study, I think that one can come to see more clearly why certain formulations of the mystery of applied mathematics are not convincing

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Sheldon Smith
University of California, Los Angeles

References found in this work

Second Philosophy: A Naturalistic Method.Penelope Maddy - 2007 - Oxford, England and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
Second Philosophy: A Naturalistic Method.Penelope Maddy - 2007 - Oxford, England and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.Eugene Wigner - 1960 - Communications in Pure and Applied Mathematics 13:1-14.

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