[FOM] Hadamard's principle
Jeffery Zucker
zucker at cas.mcmaster.ca
Wed Feb 9 21:05:03 EST 2005
In a paper I am now writing on analogue computation, I want
to make some remarks on the significance of continuity in
this connection, and I would like to refer, at least briefly,
to what is known as "Hadamard's principle".
Unfortunately I do not know of a succinct formulation of
this from a primary source, i.e. any of Hadamard's writings.
The only source I have is an article by Kreisel
["A notion of mechanistic theory", Synthese 29 (1974), 11-26]
in which he writes
| [A] famous principle, due to Hadamard, which restricts the
| class of meaningful theories ... requires that theoretical
| relations corresponding to _functions_, mapping data to
| (other) observables, must be _continuous_ in the data.
[Emphasis in the original. From the context in the article,
the word "theories" in the quotation seems to refer
specifically to physical theories.]
I have two questions:
(1) Is this a fair (albeit brief) summary of Hadamard's position?
(2) More generally: can anyone recommend a good general discussion
(in English) of issues related to this topic?
With thanks in advance,
Jeff Zucker
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