Mathematical realism is the view that mathematical objects and concepts exist independently of human thought and are discovered, not invented.

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Mathematical realism is a philosophical doctrine that states that mathematical entities and concepts exist objectively and independently of human intuition and observation. This viewpoint holds that mathematical truths can be discovered, but not invented, and that they exist outside the realm of human thought or human experience.

One of the key figures in mathematical realism was the philosopher Georg Cantor, who developed set theory and proved the existence of an infinite hierarchy of infinities. He argued that mathematical objects had a reality independent of subjective human experience. In his words, “The mathematician does not create, but rather discovers, these laws and these relations of ideas, which are in themselves true and immutable.”

Other philosophers who have contributed to the development of mathematical realism include Kurt Gödel, Bertrand Russell, and Alfred Tarski. They have argued that mathematical concepts, such as numbers and geometric shapes, have an independent existence that can be discovered through logical reasoning and inquiry.

Some interesting facts about mathematical realism include:

- Mathematical realism is opposed to mathematical nominalism, which holds that mathematical entities are just names or labels invented by humans rather than real objects or concepts.
- The concept of mathematical realism can be traced back to ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato, who believed that mathematical objects existed in a realm of ideal forms that transcended the physical world.
- Mathematical realism has implications for the philosophy of science, as it suggests that mathematics plays an important role in understanding the natural world. As physicist Eugene Wigner wrote, “The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.”
- The debate between mathematical realism and nominalism continues to be lively and contentious among mathematicians and philosophers, with no clear resolution in sight.

Here is a table comparing mathematical realism and mathematical nominalism:

Mathematical realism | Mathematical nominalism |
---|---|

Holds that mathematical entities and concepts exist independently of human thought and are discovered. | Holds that mathematical entities are just names or labels invented by humans. |

Implies that mathematical truths can be objectively discovered through logical reasoning. | Implies that mathematical truths are a matter of subjective human convention. |

Is supported by philosophers such as Georg Cantor, Kurt Gödel, and Bertrand Russell. | Is supported by philosophers such as Pierre-Simon Laplace, who famously said, “What we call chance is our ignorance.” |

## Video response to “What is mathematical realism?”

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.

## Other approaches of answering your query

Mathematical realism is a philosophical view that mathematics is objective and independent of human activities, beliefs or capacities. According to this view, mathematics is the study of a body of necessary and unchanging facts, which exist in the world and can be discovered by mathematicians. Mathematical realism is a way of looking at the world from the outside, and it is a necessary condition of science.

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 mathematics, realism is a way of looking at the world from the outside. In this view, mathematics is objective and independent of mathematicians. Hence, mathematical realism is a necessary condition of science. It is impossible to create a mathematical object, without a world.

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Also, **What is the meaning of mathematical realism?**

As a response to this: 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.

**What is an example of realism in mathematics?** Mathematical realism

In this point of view, there is really one sort of mathematics that can be discovered; triangles, for example, are real entities, not the creations of the human mind. Many working mathematicians have been mathematical realists; they see themselves as discoverers of naturally occurring objects.

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Beside this, **What is the argument for mathematical realism?**

Arguments for mathematical realism: *Mathematical statements are objectively true or false*. Realists argue this objective truth is best explained by the existence of mathematical facts independent of humans.

In this regard, **What is realism vs antirealism in mathematics?**

Realism asserts that well-confirmed scientific theories are true or approximately true, and antirealism is the view that scientific theories will always be “approximately true" or won’t be true at all.

In respect to this, **What is realism in mathematics?**

The response is: In broad terms, realism is the view that mathematics is objective: independent of the lives, customs, language, and form of life of mathematicians. This statement is deliberately indeterminate.

**Are You a realist or a mathematician?**

The reply will be: If you believe in the existence of numbers, you are a mathematical realist. If you believe in the existence of unobservable subatomic particles, you are a scientific realist. And so on, through the rest of the disciplines into which philosophy delves — ethics, aesthetics, language, and logic, to name a few.

Hereof, **Can mathematical realism be true without proofs?** The response 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.

**Does naturalism require a realist interpretation of mathematics?**

The answer is: Maddy is more circumspect, arguing that naturalism does not demand a realist interpretation of mathematics. The varieties of naturalism treated here might be dubbed methodological because they focus on the methods of science, adopting those to traditional philosophical questions.

Accordingly, **What is realism in mathematics?**

As a response to this: In broad terms, realism is the view that mathematics is objective: independent of the lives, customs, language, and form of life of mathematicians. This statement is deliberately indeterminate.

Similarly, **Are You a realist or a mathematician?** If you believe in the existence of numbers, you are a mathematical realist. If you believe in the existence of unobservable subatomic particles, you are a scientific realist. And so on, through the rest of the disciplines into which philosophy delves — ethics, aesthetics, language, and logic, to name a few.

Beside this, **Can mathematical realism be true without proofs?** The response 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.

**What is truth value realism?**

In reply to that: Truth-value *realism is *the view that every well-formed *mathematical *statement has a unique and objective truth-value that *is *independent of whether it can be known by us and whether it follows logically from our current *mathematical *theories. The view also holds that most *mathematical *statements that are deemed to be true are in fact true.