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Controversy: Axiomatisches Mißverständnis

E. Roy Weintraub
The Economic Journal
Vol. 108, No. 451 (Nov., 1998), pp. 1837-1847
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Royal Economic Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2565847
Page Count: 11
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Controversy: Axiomatisches Mißverständnis
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Abstract

From the axiomatic point of view, mathematics appears thus as a storehouse of abstract forms - the mathematical structures; and so it happens without our knowing how that certain aspects of empirical reality fit themselves into these forms, as if through a kind of preadaptation. (Bourbaki, 1950, p. 231) So you believe that the application of mathematics to the physical world is a miracle? If so, then I invite you to admire another miracle; I can travel around the world with my American Express card. You say of the second, `That's just a network. If you step out of it by so much as an inch, your card will be valueless.' Quite so. That is what I am saying about science, nothing more and nothing less. (Latour, 1988, p. 221)

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