Is math a science?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Philosophy Explorer
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Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

Is math a science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:27 am

Some philosophy websites treat it as a branch of science while others don't (such as this one).

To start off this thread, I'm using my online definition for science (which can be adjusted since science is fluid):

the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

Let's look over the simplest branch of math: basic algebra which has about a dozen axioms. Those axioms have been built up through induction (e.g. the commutative laws of addition and multiplication). They've been studied through observation and experiment. And theorems have been built up through deduction.

Patterns do lead to theorems that can be proven algebraically. So e.g. we have:

1 x 3 + 1 = 2 x 2
2 x 4 + 1 = 3 x 3
3 x 5 + 1 = 4 x 4
4 x 6 + 1 = 5 x 5...

So through observation and experiment, I see that the pattern on the left side of the equal sign generates squared numbers on the right side of the equal sign and I can prove this in general using algebra which means this is a theorem.

This is a particular example and there are many examples from many branches of math so yes, I do regard math as a science.

Any thoughts to add to this?

PhilX 🇺🇸

Serendipper
Posts: 201
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:05 am

Re: Is math a science?

Post by Serendipper » Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:12 am

Goethe said "Thinking… is no more and no less an organ of perception than the eye or ear. Just as the eye perceives colours and the ear sounds, so thinking perceives ideas."

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