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Philosophy Café – New ways of looking at mathematics by Prof Ray Monk.


Ray Monk, Professor of Philosophy, has spoken about mathematical truth at the University of Southampton’s popular Philosophy Cafe at the John Hansard Gallery on campus. From the time of Plato onwards, philosophers have regarded mathematical truth as an ideal. Unlike ordinary, empirical truth, it is held, mathematical truth is eternal, incorrigible and certain. This talk looked at the ways in which philosophers have tried to account for the special nature of mathematical truth, concentrating on Bertrand Russell who ended up denying there was such a thing. Ray, the author of biographies of Wittgenstein and Russell, wrote a well-received book about atomic scientist J Robert Oppenheimer in 2012. Philosophy Cafe talks are scheduled each month and cover a wide range of topics.

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