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Galileo's Reconciliation Of Mathematics And The Investigation Of Nature, Garret Meier Dec 2016

Galileo's Reconciliation Of Mathematics And The Investigation Of Nature, Garret Meier

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Modern science uses mathematics to describe nature. However, in the early modern period (roughly, the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries), natural philosophers rarely used mathematics to gain knowledge about nature because of two problems. The Ontological Problem is that mathematics seems inappropriate for gaining knowledge of nature because nature does not seem to exhibit essential mathematical properties. The Practical Problem is that, even if nature does have mathematical properties, mathematical calculations give predictions that do not exactly match what we observe, making them inappropriate for gaining knowledge of nature. Galileo, in the Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems and the ...