Document (#23802)

Author
Gardner, M.
Title
Is mathematics "out there"?
Source
Mathematical intelligencer. 23(2001) no.1, S.7-8
Year
2001
Abstract
With very few exceptions mathematicians have always believed, and still believe, that mathematical truths have a strange kind of abstract reality that is discovered, not created. In recent years a tiny minority of maverick mathematicians have joined the postmodern ranks of the social constructivists who see both math and science as cultural artifacts, unrelated to any sort, of timeless truth domain. Reuben Hersh, a distinguished mathematician, has long defended this antirealist view, notably in his 1997 book What is Mathematics, Really? If all Hersh means is that mathematics is part of human culture, then of course he is iight, but the statement is vacuous. Everything humans say and do is part of culture. Hersh obviously means something less trivial. He is convinced that mathematicians do not discover timeless theorems-theorems true in all possible worlds. Rather they create ever-changing, uncertain conjectures in much the same way that others create art, music, religion, wars, and traffic regulations. In an article in Eureka (March 1988), he discusses several "myths" which he claims have been mistakenly defended by great mathematicians
Footnote
Vgl. auch den Beitrag von Hersh, R.: Reply to Martin Gardner in: Mathematical intelligencer 23(2001) no.2, S. 3-5.
Field
Mathematik

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