Russel’s and Robinson’s Platonist view of mathematics and numbers
“The world of mathematics (...) is really a beautiful world. It has nothing to do with life and death and human sordidness, but it is eternal cold and passionless. To me, pure mathematics is one of the highest forms of art; it has sublimity quite special to itself, and an immense dignity derived from the fact that its world is exempt from change and time. I am quite serious in this (...) and mathematics is the only thing we know of that is capable of perfection; in thinking about it we become Gods. This alone is enough to put it on a pinnacle above all other studies.” (1901) - Bertrand Russel, a British mathematician
“It was towards the end of 1898 that Moore and I rebelled…show more content… It's what underneath that counts. “(1973) Abraham Robinson, an American mathematician
Upon reading these quotes, I feel that both Russel and Robison possess Plato’s view of mathematics and numbers. That being the case, this paper aims to achieve the following 3 objectives:
1. Highlight the areas in which Russel and Robinson align themselves with Plato, and reject Hegel’s and Kant’s philosophy of mathematics.
2. Develop a definition for a number using Russel’s and Robinson’s views.
3. Evaluate whether or not Russel’s and Robinson’s view of numbers is right in light of the history of numbers.
Russel and Robinson aligning themselves with Platonism.
In order to adequately see how Russel’s and Robinson’s view on mathematics and numbers is similar to Plato’s, it is important to first fully understand what Platonism about mathematics really is. Today, Platonism about mathematics is thought of as the “view that there are abstract mathematical objects whose existence is independent of us and our language, thought, and practices.” Mathematical truths are therefore discovered, not invented. It is this property that Plato believes gives mathematics its immeasurable importance because of what it allows mathematics to contribute to