more from Henri Poincaré

Single Idea 9916

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 10. Constructivism / a. Constructivism]

Full Idea

Poincaré once exclaimed, 'Convention, yes! Arbitrary, no!'.

Gist of Idea

Convention, yes! Arbitrary, no!


report of Henri Poincaré (talk [1901]) by Hilary Putnam - Models and Reality

Book Reference

'Philosophy of Mathematics: readings (2nd)', ed/tr. Benacerraf/Putnam [CUP 1983], p.430

A Reaction

An interesting view. It mustn't be assumed that conventions are not rooted in something. Maybe a sort of pragmatism is implied.