Category Archives: Philosophy

Fundamental Impossibilities

An Understanding of our fundamental limitations is among the most important contributions of science and of mathematics. There are quite a few cases where things that seemed possible and had been pursued for centuries in fact turned out to be … Continue reading

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About Mathematics

This post collects some brief philosophical thoughts about mathematics that appeared as part of my paper “Combinatorics with a geometric flavor: some examples,” from the proceedings of the conference “Vision in Mathematics, towards 2000.” I added two small items (the first and … Continue reading

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The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Sympathy, and Yaari’s Challenge

Correlation and Cooperation In our spring school devoted to Arrow’s economics, Menahem Yaari gave a talk  entitled “correlation and cooperation.” It was about games as a model of people’s behavior, and Yaari made the following points: It is an empirical fact … Continue reading

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Optimism – two quotes

1. Here is a quote from Karl Popper’s paper “Science, Problems, Aims, Responsibilities” about Francis Bacon: “According to Bacon, nature, like God, was present in all things, from the greatest to the least. And it was the aim or the … Continue reading

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Is Mathematics a Science?

Many people do not regard mathematics as a science since it does not directly probe our physical reality; some mathematicians even like to think about mathematics as being closer to art, music or literature. But is there really a big … Continue reading

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