Monthly Archives: February 2017

Physics has no general primacy over mathematics with respect to the structure of reality

“The realist’s epistemological optimism about the boundless future of scientific progress may be expressed, in terms of the very empiricist principle just stated, as follows. We expect that there will always be new discoveries about convergences among all existing efforts to represent all the non-redundant statistics. Such discoveries will occur along the moving frontier of mathematical innovation that links models of specific classes of phenomena. At this frontier, the distinction between mathematics and empirical science is intrinsically unclear. Because this process amounts to the discovery of new fundamental features of reality, a structural realist, and a naturalistic metaphysician, should decline to try to give a general answer to the question as to whether the structure of reality is mathematical or physical.” (James Ladyman and Don Ross, “The World in the Data,” in Ross et al. (eds.), Scientific Metaphysics, p.147)