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Mathematicians and Philosophers: Chalk and Cheese?

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Author:Keith Devlin (Devlin's Angle)
Description: ...mathematicians and philosophers go about their business in very different ways, and on the whole they don't mix. Mathematicians who arguably would benefit from reading works in philosophy rarely do so - books by Daniel Dennett and John Searle excepted - and even philosophers of mathematics appear to read little contemporary work on mathematics - books by Roger Penrose excepted. As Thomas Kuhn wrote in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, "...normal science usually holds creative philosophy at arm's length, and probably for good reasons." Kuhn goes on to describe those "probable good reasons" - in essence, to make progress in science it is generally better to ignore the potentially distracting meta-scientific questions that so interest the philosopher. Count mathematics in with science on that score.

Levels: High School (9-12), College, Research
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Logic/Foundations, Philosophy, Psychology

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