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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"What Is Mathematics?"

An ongoing debate:

http://members.cox.net/mathmistakes/what_is_mathematics1.htm

A discussion (actually review of a John Barrow book) centering around the long-time debate over whether mathematics objectively exists in reality or is merely a creation of the human mind.

...And plenty more food-for-thought here:

Nice article at Wikipedia giving overview of "philosophy of mathematics;" includes many links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mathematics

...and similar "Foundations of Mathematics" article also at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundations_of_mathematics

Relatedly, possibly worth mentioning a 2009 book from Jeremy Gray "Plato's Ghost: The Modernist Transformation of Mathematics," which narrates the evolution of mathematical thought from 1880 to the 1920s:

an online review here:

http://www.americanscientist.org/bookshelf/pub/modernism-in-mathematics

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