The Intelligibility of Nature
(1) How is the impressively effective coordination of thought and reality that is exhibited by mathematicizing natural science to be explained? Is this success perhaps simply inexplicable? Surely not! (2) To account for the cognitive accessibility of nature, a two-sided explanation is needed—one in which both our mind and external nature play a crucial collaborative role. (3) Our own side of the story lies in the fact that mind is an evolved product of nature's operations. (4) And nature's side of the story lies in its providing the stage-setting for the evolutionary development of mind. (5) Such a two-sided account can, in principle, be elaborated into a full-scale explanation that invokes the findings of science to explain how mathematicizing science itself is possible. (6) This explanation does not, however, support the overly boastful claim that "science has got it right." The critical fact is that nature must be "error tolerant" if cognitive evolution is to take place at all. And this means that one can account for the extraordinary success of natural science as we have it well short of maintaining its actual correctness.
How is natural science—and, in particular, physics—possible at all? How is it that we insignificant humans can manage to unlock nature's secrets and gain access to her laws? And how can our mathematics—seemingly a free creative invention of the human imagination—be used so effectively to characterize the modus operandi of nature with such uncanny