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Unformatted text preview: Philosophical Backdrop Socrates' student, Plato (lived 427--347 B.C.E.), developed Socrates' ideas further. Plato taught that there are absolute truths---mathematics is the key. While statements about the physical world will be relative to the individual and culture, mathematics is independent of those influences: 2 + 2 = 4 always, here on Earth or on the far side of the galaxy. Plato had Four Basic Points: 1. There is certainty. 2. Mathematics gives us the power of perception. 3. Though the physical applications of mathematics may change, the thoughts themselves are eternal and are in another realm of existence. 4. Mathematics is thought and, therefore, it is eternal and can be known by anyone. [Today we view mathematical ideas as free creations of the human mind. They are the tools we use to map the world. Experience is the key. Although absolute certainty is not possible, we can still attain accurate knowledge and reasonable beliefs about the world.] Out of Plato's teachings grew the belief that when one studies mathematics, one studies the mind...
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- Fall '10