Philosophy of Mathematics
9 units (3-0-6) |
An examination of conceptual issues that arise in mathematics. The sorts of issues addressed may include the following: Are mathematical objects such as numbers in some sense real? How do we obtain knowledge of the mathematical world? Are proofs the only legitimate source of mathematical knowledge? What is the relationship between mathematics and the world? How is it possible to apply abstract theory to the world? Views of major historical figures such as Plato, Hume, Kant, and Mill, as well as of contemporary writers are examined. The course will also examine philosophical issues that arise in particular areas of mathematics such as probability theory and geometry. Not offered 2021-2022.
The online version of the Caltech Catalog is provided as a convenience; however, the printed version is the only
authoritative source of information about course offerings, option requirements, graduation requirements,
and other important topics.