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Mathematics without ApologiesPortrait of a Problematic Vocation$
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Michael Harris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175836

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175836.001.0001

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Megaloprepeia

Megaloprepeia

Chapter:
(p.79) Chapter 4 Megaloprepeia
Source:
Mathematics without Apologies
Author(s):

Michael Harris

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691175836.003.0005

The explosion of finance mathematics, and its implication in the 2008 financial crisis, has had the welcome, but unintended, consequence of establishing a common border between mathematics and morality. This chapter does not aim to assign responsibility for the 2008 crash and certainly not to imply that mathematics professors are specifically to blame. Nor does this chapter aim to change anyone's mind about fundamental questions of economic policy. Its primary purpose is to explain some of the context for a debate that is actually taking place, within and around mathematics, in connection with the growth of mathematical finance. The tensions between the internal and external goods involved in the creation of mathematics are well illustrated by this debate. The secondary purpose of this chapter is to provide a very brief introduction to the mathematical modeling of reality.

Keywords:   finance mathematics, morality, mathematicians, mathematical finance, mathematical modeling, reality

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