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The Purest form of Abstract thought

  1. Oct 3, 2004 #1
    Hi ppl,
    Could someone please tell me who's quote this is: "Mathematics is the purest form of abstract thought"?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2004 #2


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    In mathematics you don't know whether the things you study exist or not, or what it would mean for them to really exist. Not only mathematicians, but philosophers have debated this issue without reaching a concensus. Some philosophers have called mathematics "The study without an object".

    No other study has so abstract a topic matter. Specifically philosophy and physics both, at their most abstract, have SOME reference to reality.
  4. Oct 4, 2004 #3
    That's funny, that is exactly what they say about quantum mechanics as well. :tongue2:
  5. Oct 4, 2004 #4


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    Not at all! Quantum Mechanics has a strong experimental support, and indeed its delevelopment was driven by advances in experimental technique, from the photoelectric effect to the microwave spectroscopy than yielded the Lamb shift.

    Superstring theory now, has no experimental support and has been accused by some of being pure philosophy. But what it actually is closer to is pure mathematics. It is no accident the Witten was awarded the Fields medal, the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel proze.
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