more from David Hilbert

Single Idea 10113

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 7. Formalism]

Full Idea

The solid philosophical attitude that I think is required for the grounding of pure mathematics is this: In the beginning was the sign.

Gist of Idea

The grounding of mathematics is 'in the beginning was the sign'


David Hilbert (works [1900]), quoted by A.George / D.J.Velleman - Philosophies of Mathematics Ch.6

Book Reference

George,A/Velleman D.J.: 'Philosophies of Mathematics' [Blackwell 2002], p.148

A Reaction

Why did people invent those particular signs? Presumably they were meant to designate something, in the world or in our experience.