Vol 24 No 1 (2015)
Articles

The Wonderful Gift of Mathematics

Published August 10, 2015

Abstract

This theoretical analysis addresses “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences” (Wigner, 1960). For example, how is it that ellipses—constructed by Greek geometers nearly two millennia before Kepler used them—provide such precise models for describing planetary motion? Historical models of gravity and planetary motion frame arguments on the nature of mathematics, particularly the characterization of mathematics as the objectification of action. This characterization helps explain the effectiveness of mathematics while distinguishing mathematics from other disciplines.