The Pernicious Influence of Mathematics Upon Philosophy

  • Gian-Carlo Rota
Part of the Modern Birkhäuser Classics book series (MBC)


Are mathematical ideas invented or discovered? This question has been repeatedly posed by philosophers through the ages and will probably be with us forever. We will not be concerned with the answer. What matters is that by asking the question, we acknowledge that mathematics has been leading a double life.


Mathematical Problem Philosophical Argument Traditional Philosophy Definitive Solution Axiomatic Method 
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End Notes

  1. [1]
    J. T. Schwartz, “The Pernicious Influence of Mathematics Upon Science” in Mark Kac, Gian-Carlo Rota, J. T. Schwartz, Discrete Thoughts. Essays on Mathematics, Science, and Philosophy, Birkhäuser Boston, 1992, Chapter 3.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus logico-philosophicus, Kegan, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., London, 1922; Proposition 7.00.MATHGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1953.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gian-Carlo Rota
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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