Michelangelo's Stone: an Argument against Platonism in Mathematics

Publication Year:
2015
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11601
Author(s):
Carlo ROVELLI
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preprint description
If there is a “platonic world” M of mathematical facts, what does M contain precisely? I observe that if M is too large, it is uninteresting, because the value is in the selection, not in the totality; if it is smaller and interesting, it is not independent from us. Both alternatives challenge mathe- matical platonism. I suggest that the universality of our mathematics may be a prejudice hiding its contingency, and illustrate contingent aspects of classical geometry, arithmetics and linear algebra.

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