|Mathematicians born on this day:||Mathematicians who died on this day:|
|William Wallace||Urbain Le Verrier||Heinrich Bruns|
David van Dantzig (1900 - 1959)
Neither in the subjective nor in the objective world can we find a criterion for the reality of the number concept, because the first contains no such concept, and the second contains nothing that is free from the concept. How then can we arrive at a criterion? Not by evidence, for the dice of evidence are loaded. Not by logic, for logic has no existence independent of mathematics: it is only one phase of this multiplied necessity that we call mathematics.
How then shall mathematical concepts be judged? They shall not be judged. Mathematics is the supreme arbiter. From its decisions there is no appeal.We cannot change the rules of the game, we cannot ascertain whether the game is fair. We can only study the player at his game; not, however, with the detached attitude of a bystander, for we are watching our own minds at play.
Another quotation by one of today's mathematicians
|Previous Day||Today||Next Day||Whole year
|Main Index||Biographies Index
|Birth and death statistics|
JOC/EFR February 2016
The URL of this page is:
School of Mathematics and Statistics|
University of St Andrews, Scotland