First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
Post Reply Was Mathematics Invented or Discovered?
Posted 8/2/17
Math, as we see it, was invented. As for the mathematics we may or may not perceive (or that which is known by other sentient beings) could be discovered or invented. We've established mathematical "laws," but in terms of undiscovered knowledge above our own held by the possibility of higher conscience, we've yet to see the entire picture. It's almost like a chicken or the egg debate if you ask me.
227 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / M
Offline
Posted 8/2/17
The concepts of what mathematics describes are inherent and were discovered but how we represent them in practice was invented and therefore arbitrary. I want to say that René Descartes mused on such topics but I wouldn't quote me on that one its been a while.
5239 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
31 / M
Offline
Posted 8/2/17 , edited 8/2/17
Apart from add, minus, multiply, and divide, there might be another sign called the neutral sign where it turns everything to zero.

P.S I made this up
P.S Do not divide by zero
6564 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M
Offline
Posted 8/2/17
It was observed.
790 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / PA, USA
Offline
Posted 8/2/17 , edited 8/3/17
Invented, like science and the concept of time. People have put years worth of hard work into our systems of mathematics.
31 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 8/3/17 , edited 8/3/17
Math is invented by humans to describe our observations of the universe. For example if I have a row of faces:

we can call this set with a quantity of 3, the number we invented to describe the quantity of faces.

If I have two sets that are independent

and

we can quantify those sets as set being equal to 3 and set as being equal to 5. The union of both sets say would be 5 and that is addition.

We can also add set to itself number of times, being 15, which we call multiplication.

What I am getting at is all of math has been invented by humans to describe the world around us, such as physical laws. It's a description of behaviour, but not a natural component of the universe itself. In more complex maths, you can see the issues of it being a human-described phenomenon. For example, any number divided by 0 is undefined. It's been argued for a while what it means to divide over 0 (and no it's not equal to infinite). Mathematical asymptotes are also interesting. If we have lim x from 1 -> inf and 1/x, at what point does the division equal 0? One of the craziest things is that the Zeta function finds that if you sum all positive integers (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + ...) all the way up to infinite, the resulting summation is -1/12
21289 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Leanbox, Gameindu...
Offline
Posted 8/3/17
Definitely invented. For example, no real reason why we use a base 10 system other than having 10 fingers. I think the above poster said it best "math was invented by humans to describe observations of the universe."
31 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 8/3/17

kevz_210 wrote:

For example, no real reason why we use a base 10 system other than having 10 fingers


I am a huge advocate of the duodecimal system rather than the decimal system. Base 12 allows you to better visualize quarters and thirds. 4 is a third, and 3 is a quarter in base 12 rather than 3.3333 and 2.5 in base 10. Some ancient cultures apparently used base 12, which I heard is why our clocks go from 1 to 12
21289 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Leanbox, Gameindu...
Offline
Posted 8/3/17

ybetaepsilon wrote:


kevz_210 wrote:

For example, no real reason why we use a base 10 system other than having 10 fingers


I am a huge advocate of the duodecimal system rather than the decimal system. Base 12 allows you to better visualize quarters and thirds. 4 is a third, and 3 is a quarter in base 12 rather than 3.3333 and 2.5 in base 10. Some ancient cultures apparently used base 12, which I heard is why our clocks go from 1 to 12


360 degrees can easily be divided by 2,3,4,5,6,8, 9, 12, 15, 18, 20, 30, 45, 90 and 180, probably where that came from too.
2076 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / F / Capsule Hotel
Offline
Posted 8/3/17
I think invented.
7814 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 8/4/17
How could it be anything other than invented?

Weird philosophical definitions aside, if "Mathematics" were discovered it would have to exist independent of humans. As a form of matter or a law of reality. Maths isn't a law of reality, it's how we understand the laws of reality.

The Duck-billed Platypus was discovered. They existed before humans were in Australia. You can't discover a concept, you have to invent it.
Ejanss 
16423 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 8/4/17 , edited 8/4/17

Iberjib wrote:

I think mathematics is invented. To me mathematics is a language and a tool created by people to try and give order to things.

Sorry if my explanation is a short and poorly worded, I'm lacking in the intelligence department.


If you want to beef yourself up in the intelligence department, there are a half-dozen BBC documentaries you could watch on the subject--
Try "The Story of One" with Monty Python's Terry Jones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrLQW1vQklE

TL;DW version: Numbers didn't really have a place in civilization until we had enough things we needed to COUNT--Like, armies, cattle, taxpaying peasants, etc.
And even then, the ability to crunch numbers wasn't first needed until it could do things necessary for building More in a civilization. The right-triangle A2+B2=C2 theorem, for example, was first used by the Egyptians with a knotted rope, to measure out exactly how to cut a corner-triangle block for the pyramids, long before anyone thought of doing the calculations on paper.

(So, no, unlike the old joke, Algebra and Geometry weren't invented by "a guy who hated 4th-grade kids". )
34496 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / M / U.S.A.
Offline
Posted 8/4/17
Depends on what semantics you use.

The concept was discovered. As someone had to realize that one plus one always equals two before they could put it as thought. Thus, the language of math was invented.
12848 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
☆Land of sweets☆
Online
Posted 8/4/17

XxDarkSasuxX wrote:Depends on what semantics you use.
The concept was discovered. As someone had to realize that one plus one always equals two before they could put it as thought. Thus, the language of math was invented.


in computer science, 1 + 1 = 1.
in linear algebra, you could probably define a vector space such that 1 + 1 isn't necessarily equal to 2. it would have to be a crazy weird vector space though...
2136 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / M / La
Offline
Posted 8/4/17 , edited 8/4/17
It's invented. It's not some set in stone way of doing things. We just don't have another way. What if we made a math system based of the structure of the universe, and how it works. Then maybe if we found some sort of 'code', we could say we discovered it. Rather we put numbers to concepts we made to explain things. If numbers like Pi weren't infinite we could say we discovered it. Though I'm not sure you can write a system for the universe.
First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.