more from Shaughan Lavine

Single Idea 15935

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 1. Mathematical Platonism / b. Against mathematical platonism]

Full Idea

In modern mathematics virtually all work is only up to isomorphism and no one cares what the numbers or points and lines 'really are'.


'Isomorphism' is where all the models coincide in structure

Gist of Idea

Modern mathematics works up to isomorphism, and doesn't care what things 'really are'


Shaughan Lavine (Understanding the Infinite [1994], VI.1)

Book Reference

Lavine,Shaughan: 'Understanding the Infinite' [Harvard 1994], p.157

A Reaction

At least that leaves the field open for philosophers, because we do care what things really are. So should everybody else, but there is no persuading some people.