Les confusos origenes de la fisica matemà¡tica: Galileo, Descartes y la caà­da de los cuerpos

Les confusos origenes de la fisica matemà¡tica: Galileo, Descartes y la caà­da de los cuerpos

A conference on the history and philosophy of mathematics.

After the science of motion was successfully formulated using the language of the theory of proportions, other theories such as those of sound, elasticity, heat, capillarity, etc. entered the realm of the «mathematized sciences». However, the path that had been opened with the publication of Galileo’s Discorsi did not limit itself to physics; at the beginning of the XVIII Century Jacques Bernoulli, following a debate kindled by Pascal and Fermat, laid the groundwork for the mathematization of the concept randomness.

Mathematization has since then extended to other subjects such as the life sciences, environmental science, meteorology, logic, demography and economics. Given this fact we believe that is important to hold a discussion that enables us to understand and explain this fact from a historical and philosophical perspective. Several questions arise:

1. Given a theory, when is it possible to say that it is mathematized?

2. What does mathematics explain or allow us to explain within a science when it is mathematized?

3. Why is it precisely that these explanations have been given using mathematics?

4. What conditions within the historical development of mathematics have made this possible? Has it always been the case that a science reaches out to an established mathematical theory or has the science in question allowed for the possibility of a new branch of mathematics to emerge?

5. What changes, modifications or transformations can arise once the explanations of a certain science are offered from within a «mathematized» framework?

This leads us to the question at the heart of the conference we are organizing: What is mathematization?

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