[FOM] Fictionalism About Mathematics

Panu Raatikainen panu.raatikainen at helsinki.fi
Tue Mar 13 05:11:14 EDT 2012

Lainaus "Harry Deutsch" <hdeutsch at ilstu.edu>:

> This comment is the essential point.  If mathematics is a fictional  
> story, what  (who) determines what is true in the story?  In fiction  
> the author is the absolute authority, but that does not, of course,  
> seem true of mathematics.
> Harry


The Pythagoreans could not simply stipulate that all measures are  
ratios of natural numbers, as firmly as they thought that is the case.

The discovery of the irrationality of the square root of two  
demonstrated that this is just false.

(Not that I believe that sophisticated fictionalism could not deal  
with this case)



Panu Raatikainen

Ph.D., University Lecturer
Docent in Theoretical Philosophy

Theoretical Philosophy
Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies
P.O. Box 24  (Unioninkatu 38 A)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

E-mail: panu.raatikainen at helsinki.fi


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