Michelangelo's Stone: an Argument against Platonism in Mathematics

Carlo Rovelli 1, 2
Abstract : 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 mathematical platonism. I suggest that the universality of our mathematics may be a prejudice hiding its contingency, and illustrate contingent aspects of classical geometry, arithmetic and linear algebra.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [17 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01476561
Contributor : Carlo Rovelli <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 20, 2018 - 11:11:14 AM
Last modification on : Monday, April 23, 2018 - 10:11:09 AM
Long-term archiving on : Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 8:37:21 PM

File

1508.00001.pdf
Files produced by the author(s)

Identifiers

Collections

Citation

Carlo Rovelli. Michelangelo's Stone: an Argument against Platonism in Mathematics. European Journal for Philosophy of Science, Springer, 2017, 7 (2), pp.285-297. ⟨10.1007/s13194-016-0159-8⟩. ⟨hal-01476561⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

312

Files downloads

152