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 May 25th, 2014, 04:59 AM #1 Senior Member     Joined: Apr 2014 From: zagreb, croatia Posts: 234 Thanks: 33 Math Focus: philosophy/found of math, metamath, logic, set/category/order/number theory, algebra, topology Philosophy of math I read a mathematician is a mathematician during week and a philosopher on sunday. Reffering to the Bible, I guess. I wonder to what school, if any, you belong? If to the question if mathematical statements refer to something we answer 'no', we're a pure formalist. If we answer 'yes', it's possible to claim that the things the statements describe is somethung the existence of which depends on the human mind, something the mind constructs. We're a constructivist then, who includes intuitionist. If we claim that the existence of things described by math statements doesn't depend on the human mind, that the mind doesn't construct it, but only discovers, more successfully or less succesfully, we're a platonist. If we claim math comes down to logic, we're a logicist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mathematics Thanks from CRGreathouse and agentredlum
 May 25th, 2014, 09:56 AM #2 Math Team     Joined: Jul 2011 From: North America, 42nd parallel Posts: 3,372 Thanks: 233 I'm a Platonist with a generous sprinkle of Cartesionist 'I think Therefore I am' peppered in. I'm a CartÃ©-Plato-Nisionist Thanks from raul21
 May 25th, 2014, 10:14 AM #3 Senior Member   Joined: Aug 2012 Posts: 2,357 Thanks: 740 I'm a mathstafarian. Mathstafarian Thanks from agentredlum and raul21
 May 25th, 2014, 10:21 AM #4 Global Moderator     Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC -5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms Mostly a Platonist. Mathematics exists entirely independently of the human mind and is logically prior to it. I do have traces for formalism, though -- humans *do* have some measure of control as to which systems to study. What I've heard is that most mathematicians are Platonists until a philosopher comes around, and then they pretend to be a formalist until they go away. "Oh no, just playing games with symbols here. No special significance here." I'm very interested in the aesthetics of mathematics. Thanks from agentredlum and raul21
 May 25th, 2014, 10:34 AM #5 Math Team     Joined: May 2013 From: The Astral plane Posts: 2,257 Thanks: 928 Math Focus: Wibbly wobbly timey-wimey stuff. I'm a Physicist. Mathematicians are my slaves. As a theorist (edging on being a Mathematical Physicist) I generally consider Math to be like Physics: a field that is fully formed from the beginning and we are exploring it to find out what's there and how it works. -Dan Thanks from agentredlum and raul21
May 25th, 2014, 11:19 AM   #6
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From: zagreb, croatia

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Math Focus: philosophy/found of math, metamath, logic, set/category/order/number theory, algebra, topology
Quote:
 Originally Posted by agentredlum I'm a Platonist with a generous sprinkle of Cartesionist 'I think Therefore I am' peppered in. I'm a CartÃ©-Plato-Nisionist
I'm also a platonist. As for The famous Rene line, says who it's you who thinks? Maybe thought exists, you don't.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Maschke I'm a mathstafarian. Mathstafarian
You're probably the wisest one!

Quote:
 Originally Posted by CRGreathouse Mostly a Platonist. Mathematics exists entirely independently of the human mind and is logically prior to it. I do have traces for formalism, though -- humans *do* have some measure of control as to which systems to study. What I've heard is that most mathematicians are Platonists until a philosopher comes around, and then they pretend to be a formalist until they go away. "Oh no, just playing games with symbols here. No special significance here." I'm very interested in the aesthetics of mathematics.
I believe in God, Jesus and that God created everything. But I don't believe in free will.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by topsquark I'm a Physicist. Mathematicians are my slaves. As a theorist (edging on being a Mathematical Physicist) I generally consider Math to be like Physics: a field that is fully formed from the beginning and we are exploring it to find out what's there and how it works. -Dan

 May 25th, 2014, 04:13 PM #7 Senior Member   Joined: Jul 2013 From: United Kingdom Posts: 471 Thanks: 40 I'd have to be a skepticist. I'm happy with the scientific method. Keeps my feet on the ground. Thanks from agentredlum, topsquark and raul21
 May 25th, 2014, 06:27 PM #8 Math Team   Joined: Dec 2013 From: Colombia Posts: 7,675 Thanks: 2655 Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra I would say that maths exists but that the maths we know represents a model of maths as it exists. It differs from a model in science in that, even when we simplify things by making assumptions we are exactly describing some area of maths. But the model is incomplete. Research in maths is mostly driven by the requirements of scientific (or at least, practical) endeavour and so at birth, mathematical theorems do have some sort of meaning, but they quickly transcend that meaning when the results become useful in other areas of maths. I don't think that formalism and Platonism are mutually exclusive. The entire body of maths might exist independently of humans without it meaning anything at all. I'm an agnostic with atheistic leanings, or on other days, an atheist who is aware that he could be wrong. Not that it would make much difference if I were. Even if we assume that (a) God(s) exist, I see little reason why they should be worshipped. Conversely, I find mathematics worthy of worship due to it's essential beauty. Thanks from agentredlum and raul21
May 26th, 2014, 01:46 AM   #9
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Math Focus: philosophy/found of math, metamath, logic, set/category/order/number theory, algebra, topology
Quote:
 Originally Posted by v8archie I would say that maths exists but that the maths we know represents a model of maths as it exists. It differs from a model in science in that, even when we simplify things by making assumptions we are exactly describing some area of maths. But the model is incomplete. Research in maths is mostly driven by the requirements of scientific (or at least, practical) endeavour and so at birth, mathematical theorems do have some sort of meaning, but they quickly transcend that meaning when the results become useful in other areas of maths. I don't think that formalism and Platonism are mutually exclusive. The entire body of maths might exist independently of humans without it meaning anything at all. I'm an agnostic with atheistic leanings, or on other days, an atheist who is aware that he could be wrong. Not that it would make much difference if I were. Even if we assume that (a) God(s) exist, I see little reason why they should be worshipped. Conversely, I find mathematics worthy of worship due to it's essential beauty.
Interesting that about formalism and Platonism. Never thought of it that way. But I think this question, just like any else, comes down to "God or no God". I must specify that the only true God for me is the Biblical one, and Jesus the only true Messiah. I hope I'm not emposing my beliefs, I'm just stating them. I think that formalism inevitably comes down to atheism and Platonism to religion, even Christianity. It makes no sense that God would create something meaningless.

I wouldn't use the word worship in my case. My faith in Jesus is what gives me hope that good will eventually prevail over evil.

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