Mathematical necessity and reality

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 67 (3):286 – 294 (1989)
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Abstract

Einstein, like most philosophers, thought that there cannot be mathematical truths which are both necessary and about reality. The article argues against this, starting with prima facie examples such as "It is impossible to tile my bathroom floor with regular pentagonal tiles." Replies are given to objections based on the supposedly purely logical or hypothetical nature of mathematics

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James Franklin
University of New South Wales

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