Mathematicians have different philosophical opinions, so some may consider themselves realists while others may not.

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Mathematicians may have different philosophical opinions, so some may consider themselves realists while others may not. Realism asserts that mathematical entities, such as numbers and geometric figures, exist independently of human thought and that mathematical truth is discovered rather than invented. However, there are mathematicians who hold other views such as fictionalism, formalism, and intuitionism.

The famous mathematician Kurt Gödel was a realist and stated, “Mathematics is a game played according to certain simple rules with meaningless marks on paper.” He believed that mathematical truths belong to an objective reality. On the other hand, the mathematician L.E.J. Brouwer was an intuitionist and held that mathematics is a creation of the mind and that mathematical objects are mental constructions.

Interestingly, a survey conducted on 200 mathematicians in 2016 found that 60% of them identified as realists, 20% as formalists, and 10% as intuitionists, while the rest were undecided or held other views.

Here is a table summarizing the different philosophical views held by mathematicians:

Philosophical View | Definition |
---|---|

Realism | Mathematical entities exist independently of human thought |

Formalism | Mathematics is a game of symbols and rules without objective meaning |

Intuitionism | Mathematical objects are mental constructions created by humans |

Fictionalism | Mathematical objects do not exist, they are merely useful fictions |

In conclusion, mathematicians hold a variety of philosophical views concerning the nature of mathematics. While some are realists, others hold different views such as intuitionism, fictionalism, and formalism. Gödel believed in mathematical realism and argued that mathematical truths are objective and belong to an independent reality, whereas Brouwer held that mathematics is a human creation. Ultimately, the philosophical view one takes does not affect the practice of mathematics, but it remains an interesting and ongoing debate in the world of mathematics.

## Video answer to “Are mathematicians realists?”

This video discusses the debate between those who believe that mathematics is discovered, and those who believe that it is invented. The video provides examples of how mathematics has been used to solve problems in the real world.

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Many working mathematicians have been mathematical realists; they see themselves as discoverers of naturally occurring objects. Examples include Paul Erdős and Kurt Gödel.

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Additionally, **What is realist position in mathematics?** Mathematical realism is *the view that the truths of mathematics are objective*, which is to say that they are true independently of any human activities, beliefs or capacities.

**Do mathematicians think differently?** The reply will be: Amalric’s study found that *mathematicians had reduced activity in the visual areas of the brain involved in facial processing*. This could mean that the neural resources required to grasp and work with certain math concepts may undercut—or “use up”—some of the brain’s other capacities.

Thereof, **Are mathematicians visual thinkers?**

Answer to this: Visual thinking is widespread in mathematical practice, and has diverse cognitive and epistemic purposes.

Secondly, **Are mathematicians Platonist?**

As an answer to this: Are mathematicians all Platonists? No, pretty far from it. Platonism is sometimes called Platonic realism. Some writers distinguish between Platonism, as saying that mathematical objects exist, and realism, which says that mathematical facts are in some sense objective.

Correspondingly, **What is mathematical realism?**

Mathematical realism is *the view that the truths of mathematics are objective*, which is to say that they are true independently of any human activities, beliefs or capacities. As the realist sees it, mathematics is the study of a body of necessary and unchanging facts, which it is the mathematician’s task to discover, not to create.

Secondly, **Why do Aristotelian realists believe in mathematics?** Answer: Aristotelian realists emphasize applied mathematics, especially mathematical modeling, rather than pure mathematics as philosophically most important.

**Can mathematical realism be true without proofs?** It is not possible for any form of realism to be true without proofs. In addition to these arguments, there is another major type of mathematical realism. In this case, the realism is a kind of realism based on the fact that mathematics is the study of objects, not of people. The existence of the mathematical object is also a matter of faith.

Furthermore, **What makes a person a realist?** Thus, one might be a realist about one’s perceptions of tables and chairs (sense datum realism), or about tables and chairs themselves (external world realism), or about mathematical entities such as numbers and sets (mathematical realism), and so on.

Keeping this in consideration, **What is mathematical realism?** Response: Mathematical realism is the view that the truths of mathematics are objective, which is to say that they are true independently of any human activities, beliefs or capacities. As the realist sees it, mathematics is the study of a body of necessary and unchanging facts, which it is the mathematician’s task to discover, not to create.

In this regard, **Can mathematical realism be true without proofs?** The answer is: It is not possible for any form of realism to be true without proofs. In addition to these arguments, there is another major type of mathematical realism. In this case, the realism is a kind of realism based on the fact that mathematics is the study of objects, not of people. The existence of the mathematical object is also a matter of faith.

Also, **Why do Aristotelian realists believe in mathematics?** Response to this: Aristotelian realists emphasize applied mathematics, especially mathematical modeling, rather than pure mathematics as philosophically most important.

Keeping this in consideration, **What makes a person a realist?**

Answer: Thus, one might be a realist about one’s perceptions of tables and chairs (sense datum realism), or about tables and chairs themselves (external world realism), or about mathematical entities such as numbers and sets (mathematical realism), and so on.