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"Theoretical mathematicsâ€ť: Toward a cultural synthesis of mathematics and theoretical physics
 BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY
, 1993
"... Is speculative mathematics dangerous? Recent interactions between physics and mathematics pose the question with some force: traditional mathematical norms discourage speculation, but it is the fabric of theoretical physics. In practice there can be benefits, but there can also be unpleasant and de ..."
Abstract

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Is speculative mathematics dangerous? Recent interactions between physics and mathematics pose the question with some force: traditional mathematical norms discourage speculation, but it is the fabric of theoretical physics. In practice there can be benefits, but there can also be unpleasant and destructive consequences. Serious caution is required, and the issue should be considered before, rather than after, obvious damage occurs. With the hazards carefully in mind, we propose a framework that should allow a healthy and positive role for speculation.