more from James Robert Brown

Single Idea 9606

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 1. Mathematical Platonism / a. For mathematical platonism]

Full Idea

We could not discover irrational numbers by physical measurement. The discovery of the irrationality of the square root of two was an intellectual achievement, not at all connected to sense experience.

Gist of Idea

The irrationality of root-2 was achieved by intellect, not experience


James Robert Brown (Philosophy of Mathematics [1999], Ch. 1)

Book Reference

Brown,James Robert: 'Philosophy of Mathematics' [Routledge 2002], p.5

A Reaction

Brown declares himself a platonist, and this is clearly a key argument for him, and rather a good one. Hm. I'll get back to you on this one...