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Applying mathematics to nature

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Abstract
This chapter looks at the mathematization of the study of nature by focusing on how practical mathematicians from the sixteenth century onward understood mathematics as primarily devoted to solving problems through mathematical construction. This constructive understanding of the nature of mathematics is then related to the double movement of physicalizing mathematics (giving physical interpretations to mathematical constructions) and mathematizing physics (understanding physics as basically involving the solution of problems). The work of seventeenth-century thinkers like Galileo, Descartes, and Mersenne is used to further illustrate these ideas, which led to the establishment of mathematical physics as characterized by its problem-solving nature.
Keywords
mathematization, physicalization, practical mathematics, mathematical physics, problem solving, Galileo Galilei, René Descartes, Marin Mersenne

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MLA
Van Dyck, Maarten. “Applying Mathematics to Nature.” The Cambridge History of Philosophy of the Scientific Revolution, edited by David Marshall Miller and Dana Jalobeanu, Cambridge University Press, 2022, pp. 254–73, doi:10.1017/9781108333108.016.
APA
Van Dyck, M. (2022). Applying mathematics to nature. In D. M. Miller & D. Jalobeanu (Eds.), The Cambridge history of philosophy of the scientific revolution (pp. 254–273). https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108333108.016
Chicago author-date
Van Dyck, Maarten. 2022. “Applying Mathematics to Nature.” In The Cambridge History of Philosophy of the Scientific Revolution, edited by David Marshall Miller and Dana Jalobeanu, 254–73. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108333108.016.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Dyck, Maarten. 2022. “Applying Mathematics to Nature.” In The Cambridge History of Philosophy of the Scientific Revolution, ed by. David Marshall Miller and Dana Jalobeanu, 254–273. Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108333108.016.
Vancouver
1.
Van Dyck M. Applying mathematics to nature. In: Miller DM, Jalobeanu D, editors. The Cambridge history of philosophy of the scientific revolution. Cambridge University Press; 2022. p. 254–73.
IEEE
[1]
M. Van Dyck, “Applying mathematics to nature,” in The Cambridge history of philosophy of the scientific revolution, D. M. Miller and D. Jalobeanu, Eds. Cambridge University Press, 2022, pp. 254–273.
@incollection{8730328,
  abstract     = {{This chapter looks at the mathematization of the study of nature by focusing on how practical mathematicians from the sixteenth century onward understood mathematics as primarily devoted to solving problems through mathematical construction. This constructive understanding of the nature of mathematics is then related to the double movement of physicalizing mathematics (giving physical interpretations to mathematical constructions) and mathematizing physics (understanding physics as basically involving the solution of problems). The work of seventeenth-century thinkers like Galileo, Descartes, and Mersenne is used to further illustrate these ideas, which led to the establishment of mathematical physics as characterized by its problem-solving nature.}},
  author       = {{Van Dyck, Maarten}},
  booktitle    = {{The Cambridge history of philosophy of the scientific revolution}},
  editor       = {{Miller, David Marshall and Jalobeanu, Dana}},
  isbn         = {{9781108420303}},
  keywords     = {{mathematization,physicalization,practical mathematics,mathematical physics,problem solving,Galileo Galilei,René Descartes,Marin Mersenne}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{254--273}},
  publisher    = {{Cambridge University Press}},
  title        = {{Applying mathematics to nature}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/9781108333108.016}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}

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