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Modern mathematical science and technology: Formalisation of the life world

Summerton, Ciaran (2011) Modern mathematical science and technology: Formalisation of the life world. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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In this dissertation, I offer a critical examination of modern science with a particular stress on the changes that the modern scientific project inaugurated. The focus is how modern science has radically changed the way we think about the world. I draw upon several phenomenological thinkers who have considered the changing nature of modern science and its relation to our present day thinking.

I begin by exploring the key differences between the Ancient Greek and modern scientific understanding of mathematics, geometry, and idealisation. Specifically, I discuss the reversal of Platonic geometry carried out by Galileo Galilei and the formalisation of Galilean physics achieved by Isaac Newton. In addition, I outline the key methodological features of modern science, which include indirect mathematisation and perfect causality, as well as the role of experimentation in the modern scientific project. Theory is central to modern science in its function of opening certain regions of things, while delimiting others. Thereby, I discuss how theory prescribes what counts as facts for science and experimentation, in advance.

Finally, I consider the pervasiveness of instrumental reasoning in modern science and technology. I conclude with a discussion of the institutional setting of modern science and its participation in business, governance, and power relations in these domains.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Supervisor(s): Ucnik, Lubica
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