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Mathematics Is Invented

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Posted by Harvey on July 17, 2003 01:28:17 UTC

While mathematics seems to require sentient beings, does the mathematical relation "2+2=4" continue to be true if no one was around to perform the computation?

The key operative word, here, is 'true'. The term true means a whole plethora of things, but in the limited cases of math, it is simply an undefined term that is used under certain conditions.

Now, our mathematics might express something 'true' about reality, but this is a metaphysical position which none can gauge with any scientific precision. Philosophically speaking, there's many arguments pro and con. I favor the position that mathematics says something about reality (i.e., I am a realist, or platonist).

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