The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem (1998). By Mark Steiner. Harvard University Press: Cambridge.
Chapter 1: The Semantic Applicability of Mathematics: Frege's Achievements
First off, before we start, let's get some stats on this Frege guy.
A german thinker at the turn of the 19th century, Wikipedia tells me he was overlooked in his lifetime, but his thoughts were pulled forth by Giussepe Peano and Betrand Russell. He wrote some seminal works articulating the foundations of mathematics, and made some great dents in the world of logic, advancing our understanding of functions and variables. Note: research his conceptual notation at a later time.
So back to Mr. Steiner. He kicks things off with a reminder that mathematics have often preceded discoveries in physics, which never ceases to inspire awe and excitement about what we might find with our human project. I was drawn to his quote by Richard Feynman, who reminded us that math follows rules that can take us very far from reality, and yet what we discover can often correlate with what we later find in reality.
In the words of Dummett, Frege "takes the application of a mathematical theorem to be an instance of deductive inference"