… Plato’s idea that physical reality consists of imperfect imitations of abstractions seems an unnecessarily asymmetrical stance nowadays. Like Plato, we still study abstractions for their own sake. But in post-Galilean science … we also regard abstractions as means of understanding real or artificial physical entities, and in that context we take it for granted that the abstractions are nearly always approximations to the true physical situation. So, whereas Plato thought of Earthly circles in the sand as approximations to true, mathematical circles, a modern physicist would regard a mathematical circle as a bad approximation to the real shapes of planetary orbits, atoms and other physical things.

– David Deutsch: The fabric of reality (1997), p. 243