Linked Questions

5
votes
2answers
288 views

What is mathematics? [duplicate]

Is mathematical practice: an act of discovery of eternal objects and ideas independent of human existence; an intuition-free game in which symbols are manipulated according to a fixed sets of rules; ...
0
votes
2answers
172 views

What form of formalist am I? [duplicate]

I am an formalist in the sense that I think that mathematics is just manipulation of symbols. But I think that this manipulation is motivated by the phantasy of humans: mathematical objects are for me ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Is pure math invented or discovered? [duplicate]

I know that many people believe that math is discovered, but here I want to know if pure mathematics, in specific, is discovered or invented and why. There are definitely many arguments to both sides. ...
43
votes
13answers
14k views

Do numbers exist independently from observers?

Do numbers have an objective existence? If life had not evolved on planet earth would there be numbers or are numbers an invention of human minds? Are there any relevant works that discuss this? (I ...
30
votes
15answers
42k views

Is there anything that is totally random?

When I say totally random, I mean absolutely random, not pseudorandom. If I want to say "totally random" numbers such as 1,26,17,4,1 and 27, although I see them to be totally random, they aren't. ...
25
votes
14answers
4k views

Is mathematics founded on beliefs and assumptions?

Note: I originally posted the question in meta.math.stackexchange.com but I reckon this would suit a more philosophical audience so I am posting it here. Background: I am a 28 year old ...
19
votes
15answers
14k views

Are numbers real?

I am confused as to what numbers are. Numbers are defined to be what they are, so numbers aren't real? But numbers are found in nature, right? So if we invented them, how can they be found in nature? ...
14
votes
11answers
3k views

How fundamental is logic?

I had always perceived logic as something that exists outside mathematics, physics/the physical, human consciousness, and everything. So when someone in my class posed the question whether logic can ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the major criticisms of Alain Badiou's claim that mathematics is ontology?

Building on Was mathematics invented or discovered? I would like to know what the major criticisms are of Alain Badiou's claim that mathematics is "the very site of ontology" (in Being and Event.)
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Is Mathematics an art or a science? [closed]

Is Mathematics an art or a science? This is a deep question with which I have had many discussions with my friends and teachers.
3
votes
3answers
978 views

How do mathematical objects relate to the real world?

I am just going to give an example of what I mean using Skolem's Paradox. I DO NOT want to get into Skolem's Paradox itself or its "resolution." Skolem's showed that countability is relative in ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a mathematical representation of the physical world?

Possible Duplicate: Was mathematics invented or discovered? To be more precise, does mathematics describe the physical world or does it describe a mental representation of the physical world? If ...
6
votes
2answers
178 views

Could Watson be used to answer philosophical questions?

IBM's Watson computer is known for winning the Jeopardy quiz show against the top human players. It has also been put to cancer research. Watson works by analyzing large chunks of texts to come up ...
-1
votes
4answers
1k views

Is math really the language Nature speaks?

It´s often heard among physicists: math is the universal language of Nature. But like all languages, mathematics is made by men, and made universal by man (like English is becoming the universal ...
3
votes
4answers
248 views

Can abstract entities be destroyed?

Can abstract entities be destroyed, in a way analogous to smashing an object? e.g. a musical composition, or a myth. Clearly, they can be completely forgotten etc., but are there any other ways they ...

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