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Psychology Of Math

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on January 22, 2002 15:10:45 UTC


I just read "Where does mathematics come from" which claims that math is based in human psychology and not existing independently.

I expect that is what you mean by psychology of math.

However, I did not find the argument of that book convincing because humans always find the same kinds of mathematics. Mathematics appears to be unique and universal, but perhaps not rigorous per Goedel, and more random than deterministic as Chaitin claims.

So I would expect that a psychology based math could vary from person to person, just as the psychologies of people vary. The fact that it is universal, just as nature is universal, means that math exists outside of humans as much as nature does.

Symbols may be all psychology and we see that the same symbols mean different things to different people. But the arithmetic properties of nature are apparent to anyone who cares to look closely, from symmetry to fractals.

Since you may be a believer in math psychology, I would be interested in your take on my take.



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