[FOM] Pure mathematics and humanity's collective curiosity
Thomas Forster
T.Forster at dpmms.cam.ac.uk
Tue Oct 16 18:45:10 EDT 2007
My favourite examples of this is the way in which the Greeks worked out
huge amounts of stuff concerning conic sections more than a millenium
before Kepler & co discovered that objects under gravity moved in conic
sections.
Sometimes fundamental research takes time to bear fruit. This is
always a good one to use on the faux-realists in your university
administration!
On Tue, 16 Oct 2007, Adib Ben Jebara wrote:
> My opinion is that most pure mathematics can be
> expected to be applied in the future.
> For the physical world is shaped mathematically.
>
> We can find in the history of mathematics examples
> where applying a theory came as a surprise.
> For instance, applying non euclidian geometry
> came as a surprise.
>
> So, recreational mathematics are recreational only for
> a given time.
> Regards,
> Adib Ben Jebara.
> http://jebara.topcities.com
>
> From: "John McCarthy"
> > Feng Ye included
> >
> > Quine and some philosophers following him called mathematics with no
> > potential applications in sciences 'recreational mathematics'
> >
> > One might extend that idea to call science without potential
> > application to human material prosperity `recreational science'.
> >
>
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