#
For a long time I have been very concerned with clarifying mathematics, primarily for myself but also because I plan to teach. After decades of reading and questioning and thinking, it seems to me that the philosophical views of mathematics are nonsensical. What does it MEAN to question whether mathematical objects exist outside of our minds? It sounds absurd. It seems clear to me that mathematics is a science like all the others except that verification (confirmation) is different. It is the science of QUANTITY and its amazing developments and offshoots (like set theory). And all sciences are products of our minds. They are our constructions, as are most of the physical objects in our immediate worlds. Shoes, sinks, forks, radios, computers, computer programs, eyeglasses, cars, planes, airports, buildings, roads, and on ad nauseam, are ALL our constructions. Nature didn't produce any of them. We did. What does it MEAN to speak of a "PHYSICAL" circle? A circle is OUR IDEA of a plane locus equidistant from a point. A transistor is no less real because it is OUR invention. How can anyone MAKE such a distinction? Who cares what Plato thought about mathematics? He didn't know what an algebraic number is. He didn't know what a p-adic number is. Hardly any mathematics had been invented yet twenty five hundred years ago. Why do people respect in his speculations, his fictions? And the same is true of the other contenders that presume to account for mathematics. We are surrounded by our inventions and their properties. My father used to have to get his car greased. No one does that anymore. Now we have much better bearings. Can you please explain to me why there is so much bizarre speculation about the nature of mathematics? I hope you answer. I am truly perplexed. (I started as a philosophy major but switched to electrical engineering.)
Thank you,
George F.

Read another response by Richard Heck

Read another response about Mathematics