more from Michael D. Resnik

Single Idea 6304

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 1. Mathematics]

Full Idea

Mathematical realism is the doctrine that mathematical objects exist, that much contemporary mathematics is true, and that the existence and truth in question is independent of our constructions, beliefs and proofs.

Gist of Idea

Mathematical realism says that maths exists, is largely true, and is independent of proofs


Michael D. Resnik (Maths as a Science of Patterns [1997], Three.12.9)

Book Reference

Resnik,Michael D.: 'Mathematics as Science of Pattern Recognition' [OUP 1999], p.271

A Reaction

As thus defined, I would call myself a mathematical realist, but everyone must hesitate a little at the word 'exist' and ask, how does it exist? What is it 'made of'? To say that it exists in the way that patterns exist strikes me as very helpful.