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Mathematics Faculty Scholarship

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The Deconstruction Of Mathematics: A Criticism Of Reuben Hersh's What Is Mathematics, Really? And The Humanist Philosophy Of Mathematics, David J. Stucki Jan 1999

The Deconstruction Of Mathematics: A Criticism Of Reuben Hersh's What Is Mathematics, Really? And The Humanist Philosophy Of Mathematics, David J. Stucki

Mathematics Faculty Scholarship

Mathematics, as an academic discipline, has stood for many years as the last bastion against a growing tide of intellectual relativism that has become all but ubiquitous. More recently, however, efforts have been made to "humanize" mathematics by advocating a social-constructivist approach to the philosophy of mathematics, both in practice and education. This paper is intended to serve as a critical response to one advocate of this approach, Reuben Hersh (What Is Mathematics, Really?, 1997), and in the process a defense of Platonism.