35 votes

Is the surprising applicability of mathematics to the physical world a brute fact, or something crying out for a theistic explanation?

Reality existed. Math was invented, partly to describe and predict reality, a useful tool. Calculus specifically is an example... Isaac Newton (1642–1727) is best known for having invented the ...
Alistair Riddoch's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

Is the surprising applicability of mathematics to the physical world a brute fact, or something crying out for a theistic explanation?

The biggest issue seems to be that Craig implies that mathematics is entirely disconnected from the physical world. But maths emerged from our understanding of physical world. We saw that when you put ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
  • 9,779
16 votes
Accepted

Is every feature of the universe logically necessary?

Logic is not in the business of telling the universe what to do, or even in the business of describing how the universe works. We have science for that. Logic is concerned with the relations of ...
Bumble's user avatar
  • 25.2k
9 votes

Is the surprising applicability of mathematics to the physical world a brute fact, or something crying out for a theistic explanation?

My three cents. It has been claimed that the effectiveness of mathematics on physical reality is anything but unreasonable. The reason is twofold. First many theories and areas of mathematics were ...
Nikos M.'s user avatar
  • 2,706
8 votes

Is the surprising applicability of mathematics to the physical world a brute fact, or something crying out for a theistic explanation?

The argument presupposes that the relevance of mathematics to physics is remarkable. However, if you spend any time reflecting on that, you should readily conclude that it is not remarkable at all. To ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 21.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Is steam necessarily ice?

Ice is H2O in solid state, and steam is H2O in gaseous state, so neither is H2O simpliciter and necessarily (or even actually) the other. The correct versions will be "the material of ice is ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 43.1k
6 votes

Is the surprising applicability of mathematics to the physical world a brute fact, or something crying out for a theistic explanation?

So wait a second. The two alternative hypotheses are: God created the world and made physics work by math because he is generous to human physicists and wanted them to be able to use math. Simple, ...
causative's user avatar
  • 13k
5 votes

What precisely are brute contingent facts?

According to Wikipedia, Poincare distinguished brute facts from their scientific description. The first is ontological and the second, epistemic. Now, scientific descriptions can be founded on other ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Is metaphysical necessity an unambiguous concept, and if so, how do we capture it?

Kripke (naming and necessity) is often held responsible for reintroducing metaphysical necessity in contemporary philosophy. You'll find some examples from ordinary language in Naming and Necessity, ...
Quentin Ruyant's user avatar
5 votes

Can everything in the universe be metaphysically necessary without determinism?

The words used here, "neccesary" and "determinism," are complicated. They have very precise meanings in several contexts, but those meanings do not always align. When answering ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 17.8k
5 votes

Is the surprising applicability of mathematics to the physical world a brute fact, or something crying out for a theistic explanation?

No, the applicability of mathematics to the physical world is not surprising - to me at least, and evidently to many others - with or without explanation, theistic or otherwise. Nor is it necessarily ...
Corey's user avatar
  • 328
4 votes

Can empiricists and materialists accept metaphysical modality?

Interesting question! What you are talking about seems to be addressed by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. According the Epistemology of Modality (SEP): Kant famously argued that what is a ...
J D's user avatar
  • 26.6k
4 votes

Is an equal outcome necessary to differentiate between equity and equality?

Your question supposes that equity and equality have precise meanings, which is not true. Words mean what people take them to mean, so you might take the word equality to mean something subtly ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 21.7k
4 votes
Accepted

If a then it cannot fail to be the case that b

The difference is concerned with the scope of the 'necessarily' operator. There is a difference between "Necessarily: if A then B" and "if A then necessarily B". In the first ...
Bumble's user avatar
  • 25.2k
4 votes

Why shouldn’t I be a skeptic about the Necessitation Rule for alethic modal logics?

Modal logics that include the necessitation rule are called normal. Not all modal systems are normal. Some of the non-normal logics are S1, S2 and S3, which are consistent with the necessitation rule, ...
Bumble's user avatar
  • 25.2k
4 votes

Is the surprising applicability of mathematics to the physical world a brute fact, or something crying out for a theistic explanation?

No one's really given what I think is the best answer yet. First of all, let's grant Premise 2 here. I think it is absolutely correct that mathematics is surprisingly applicable to the physical world. ...
user73418's user avatar
4 votes

Can the law of non-contradiction exist without the law of identity?

Can the law of non-contradiction exist without the law of identity? in what follows, we'll tackle the 0th-order law of identity, the scheme 'p → p' for some binary connective for which modus ponens ...
ac15's user avatar
  • 1,422
3 votes

Are there examples of necessity other than logical necessity?

Well, take the claim that nothing travels faster than light. This is clearly physically necessary in the sense of being true in any possibility, where our actual laws of physics hold. But it is not ...
sequitur's user avatar
  • 1,388
3 votes

Must an eternal object be uncaused?

Causality and time are so intertwined that they’re nearly synonymous. Time is a frame which we construct in order to capture causality. If you remove causality, you remove time, and if you remove ...
Dan Bron's user avatar
  • 143
3 votes

Would a first cause exist necessarily, so that absences are uncaused?

There are questions about whether the idea of a first cause is coherent or required. If the universe has always existed then it does not need and cannot have a first cause. Also if everything ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.7k
3 votes

Is every feature of the universe logically necessary?

There is a saying in physics that is called the totalitarian principle (of physics), which holds that anything not expressly forbidden is compulsory.
niels nielsen's user avatar
3 votes

Is every feature of the universe logically necessary?

The opposite of your presumption is the case. NO feature of our universe is necessary. All the principles of logic we use, are discovered. There are infinite logics, different ones of which ...
Dcleve's user avatar
  • 13.9k
3 votes

Do contingent propositions about the world rely on the consistency of mathematics?

Not all those who assert contingent propositions believe that the consequence relation is classical (in relevant logic, for example, the consequence relation is paraconsistent, and so there's no proof ...
kuro's user avatar
  • 121
3 votes

Reference request for books and papers that defend necessitarianism

Necessitarianism has more than one sense. In a general sense it means that everything that is true, or everything that happens, could not be otherwise. In the philosophies of the continental ...
Bumble's user avatar
  • 25.2k
3 votes

Is the surprising applicability of mathematics to the physical world a brute fact, or something crying out for a theistic explanation?

A brute fact. I don't even see why the question God's (non-)existence could emerge from the usefulness of an idealized framework like math to the physical world that we live in. Even if you envision a ...
Trunk's user avatar
  • 169
3 votes

Is the surprising applicability of mathematics to the physical world a brute fact, or something crying out for a theistic explanation?

Mathematics is the study of assumptions, and the consequences of those assumptions. If, then. If x is a real number and x^2 + 6 = 5x, then x=2 or x=3. The natural numbers have applications to the ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
  • 2,160
3 votes

Is the surprising applicability of mathematics to the physical world a brute fact, or something crying out for a theistic explanation?

Craig, Oppy: Premise... "mathematics is surprisingly applicable to physical reality, indicating God exists" Which mathematics is it, that are supposed to be "surprisingly applicable to ...
Alistair Riddoch's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

A deontic premise that leads to a necessity from a permission

Your axiom eliminates the distinction between what is permissible and what is obligatory, because it states that what is not obligatory is impermissible. The distinction between obligatory and ...
E...'s user avatar
  • 6,516
2 votes

A deontic premise that leads to a necessity from a permission

I'm thinking you've made something akin to the Four Term Fallacy here. The problem is that you've used the terms 'ought to' and 'is permissible to' as though they are logical synonyms, when in fact (...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 19.6k

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