The Mathematical State of the World: Explorations into the Characteristics of Mathematical Descriptions

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    Abstract

    In this article we try to analyse the conditions for describing the world mathematically. We consider the role played by mathematics in discussing and analysing “the state of the world.” We use this discussion to clarify what it means to use a mathematical description. We illustrate why the concepts of “mathematical description” and “mathematical model” are inadequate to evaluate the use of mathematics in decision-making processes. As a result we develop a conceptual framework that is complex enough to match what goes on in scenarios involving applications of mathematics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRelatively and Philosophically Earnest : Festschrift in honor of Paul Ernest’s 65th Birthday
    EditorsBharath Sriraman, Simon Goodchild
    Place of PublicationCharlotte, NC, USA
    PublisherInformation Age Publishing
    Publication date2009
    Pages83-96
    ISBN (Print)978-1-60752-240-9, 978-1-60752-241-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    SeriesThe Montana Mathematics Enthusiast: Monograph Series in Mathematics Education

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