10 posts tagged with mathematics and philosophy.
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CollegeFilter: How is one to choose without regret?

At the age of 24, I just completed my first year of undergraduate studies at a good public university. I am a strong student with a 4.0 GPA, but I feel that my interests are so broad and varied that I don't know how to narrow down on a specific path of study. Compound these problems with the ubiquitous financial and career concerns of the modern college student, and you have one confused student. How can I resolve this inner turmoil and structure a long-term plan that will bring me (at least some) peace of mind? [more inside]
posted by fignewton on Jun 25, 2014 - 33 answers

Man is the measure of all things.

What is the philosophy of measurement? [more inside]
posted by StoneSpace on Nov 23, 2011 - 27 answers

What are the top academic journals in various fields?

What are the best academic journals in each field? [more inside]
posted by ollyollyoxenfree on Jan 30, 2010 - 49 answers

Did Pythagoras exist?

Did Pythagoras exist? [more inside]
posted by painquale on Feb 14, 2009 - 11 answers

Individual free choice but collective predictability?

Can someone explain why despite the fact that every one of these incidents occurs at a unique time and place, each involves a complex history of events and personal decisions leading to its very unlikely outcome, that the death toll on the roads year-on-year is so predictable? See here and here. [more inside]
posted by zaebiz on Dec 28, 2008 - 47 answers

Why does e^pi * i + 1 = 0 ?

I heard about a book that covered philosophical questions at the core of mathematics. This interests me, but I'm really interested because if I remember correctly it used understanding of euler's identity as an example. What was this book?
posted by phrontist on Jan 6, 2008 - 9 answers

Does the study of math sharpen critical thinking skills?

If a man’s wit be wandering, let him post a question about mathematics and reasoning to MetaFilter. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Sep 25, 2007 - 20 answers

Help me find "Idiotic Infinity"(no, not the Internet)

Philosophy-Filter: In reading a paper about mathematics philosophy I came across a reference to the term "idiotic infinity"; which Hegel used to express the unlimited accumulation of ideas, all of which become equally profound. I'd like to read more of what Hegel said about this idea, but I cannot find the term in use anywhere. Does anyone familiar with Hegel know where in his enormous corpus I might find the discussion of the "idiotic infinity"? There is also the off-chance that the math paper reference was wrong, and the term might have originated with another philosopher entirely.
posted by archae on May 20, 2006 - 5 answers

Doomsday Argument for Idiots

Can someone explain the Doomsday Argument in a way that a math-challenged person like me can understand? [more inside]
posted by swift on May 26, 2005 - 37 answers

I hereby ask this, a question in the form of a performative utterance

I've been fascinated for a while by actions that we can take simply by saying that we're taking them. I recently found out these are called "performative utterances"; the classic examples are firing someone by saying "You're fired", or getting married by saying "I do (take him/her to be my...)". These things pop up all the time in mathematics (in fact one might say that mathematics consists almost entirely of such statements). What are some other arenas where they arise naturally? Are there other parts of life that are almost completely performative in this sense? Any favorite examples? [more inside]
posted by gleuschk on Mar 13, 2005 - 71 answers

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