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
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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
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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
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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

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
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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

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

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

Arguments against Necessitarianism

Asserting that our world is "necessary" is a VERY strong claim, and has a burden of justification on it. An inability to conceive of any other circumstance, is not such a justification, ...
Dcleve's user avatar
  • 13.9k
2 votes
Accepted

Are there limits to what can be proposed as metaphysical necessity?

If necessity is existence in all possible worlds, then if existence claims can one and all be denied, or asserted, without a priori contradiction, then anything can be said to be necessary that can be ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
2 votes

Can everything in the universe be metaphysically necessary without determinism?

Philosophy has shown that the efforts to derive our universe from necessary propositional logic have to date all failed. Applying inferential reasoning, we conclude that our universe is contingent. ...
Dcleve's user avatar
  • 13.9k
2 votes

Can everything in the universe be metaphysically necessary without determinism?

Work in a propositional-quantification modal logic and consider expressions like ∀AMA, for propositions A and modal operators M. For example, one might speak of everything being possible, or necessary,...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
2 votes

The 'Strongest Argument for Veganism': Speciesism, ethics and necessity

Necessity implies a goal. In ethics, a thing is never merely "necessary" — it's necessary in order or so that something be accomplished. It ISN'T necessary that you go to work. It's ...
user1110341's user avatar
2 votes

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

In my opinion, sort of. My position on the philosophy of maths is a formalist one, that is, I believe mathematical truths are essentially constructed and evaluated from a set of rules, or axioms. ...
edelex's user avatar
  • 712
2 votes

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

If we are some sort of mathematical realist and then distinguish our theories of mathematics from the "reality itself," then the reality itself will always be consistent anyway (supposing ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Does necessitarianism make the concept of law of nature vacuous?

However, I came across a somewhat disturbing implication of my view. I believe my view entails that every true statement about the physical world, is a law of nature. For example, the statement "...
J D's user avatar
  • 26.6k
2 votes

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

From the transcript in the question (emphases mine): Oppy: ... We suppose also--and this is the only kind of new assumption that we're going to make to go along with the kind of metaphysical picture ...
Jed Schaaf's user avatar
2 votes

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

In the way the terms LNC and identity are standardly used within logic, they are independent. Classical logic includes both, but you could have a non-classical logic that lacks either one or lacks ...
Bumble's user avatar
  • 25.2k
1 vote

Reference request for books and papers that defend necessitarianism

There are two ideas, developed by two very different thinkers, which I don't think call themselves necessitarianism, but which I think I could make a coherent argument are necessitarian philosophies. ...
TKoL's user avatar
  • 2,988
1 vote

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

There are no great metaphysical insights into this question. First of all, contradictions aren't discovered. They're constructed, and a good explanation of this is Constructive Mathematics (SEP). You ...
J D's user avatar
  • 26.6k
1 vote

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

The case you describe already happened: Bertrand Russell’s antinomy in set theory from 1901, see Russell's paradox. After Cantor’s invention of set theory it took a while, until mathematicians learned ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
  • 31.8k

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