THUNK – 93. Mathematics: Discovered or Invented?

Is mathematics discovered or invented? Is it the language which encodes the cosmos, or an imaginary human tool? Does mathematics, in its pure abstraction, tap the inherent nature of the universe…or is it just our imagination? In the longest THUNK video yet, we dive into the metaphysics of mathematics, & the seemingly unanswerable questions therein.

-Links for the Curious-

“Contact ET Using Math? Not So Fast.” A lecture at SETI by mathematician & philosopher Keith Devlin – www.youtube.com/watch?v=KveKjHIipgo

“The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences,” by Eugene Wigner – www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/MathDrama/reading/Wigner.html

“Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation?” by PBS Idea Channel – www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbNymweHW4E

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on:
Mathematical Platonism – plato.stanford.edu/entries/platonism-mathematics/
Mathematical Nominalism – plato.stanford.edu/entries/nominalism-mathematics/
Logicism – plato.stanford.edu/entries/logicism/
Fictionalism – plato.stanford.edu/entries/fictionalism-mathematics/
Abstract Objects – plato.stanford.edu/entries/abstract-objects/
General Mathematics – plato.stanford.edu/entries/philosophy-mathematics/

Hilarious SMBC comic on “pure math” – www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=4130

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