Invention or Discovery?

Today I read some paragraphs from Scientific American on How Maths Works.

As the editor pointed out, part of the puzzle is the question of whether mathematics is an invention (a creation of the human mind) or a discovery (something that exists independently of us).

For sure, this is no new question to scientists and philosophers. Not all long-standing questions are significant, but this one is. For natural scientists, it comes natural to explain the physical world using mathematical language, despite challenges such as one by Einstein, that “How is it possible that mathematics, a product of human thought that is independent of experience, fits so excellently the objects of physical reality?”

Still, it is good for natural scientists that they at least already have mathematics as a common tool (who cares whether it is invented or not!) Brave and “miserable” are us social scientists – what do we feed on? we have not even invented a common language to cast these disputes upon!

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