The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Mathematics is a human invention.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/7/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 174 times Debate No: 93460
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
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1. This is a theoretical debate on mathematics.
2. Please try to keep concise -- focus on a point or two.
3. Try to highlight the central points of your claims/arguments.
4. If applicable, please be clear on what you want the opposition to answer.

Pro: The system of mathematics is a human invention.


For mathematics to be a human invention, it would have had to not exist before its creation. I believe mathematics was a discovery- humans did not invent this system, merely they discovered it throughout the natural world and figured out how to interpret it in an understandable context.

I will cite a bit of Platonic Theory. In this case, Plato argued that math is a discoverable system that underlines the structure of the universe. In other words, the universe contains mathematics at its core. Mathematics is the infrastructure of science that explains chemical, biological, and physical phenomenon. It exists and had existed independent of human intervention before it was interpreted by us. It will continue to remain independent of human input even after we all pass. We cannot change the fundamental laws of physics or nature -- these have been set in stone due to forces outside of our control.

I would like my opponent to address how humans could have invented a system that lies as the foundation of the sciences and the way our ecosystem proceeds. How could modern humans, who did not come into existence until 200,000 years ago, have established the basis for these sciences?
Debate Round No. 1


Mathematics itself is a system of quantification known collectively as how humans associate the concept of quantity and its variability. I assert that mathematics is a standardized medium used as the communicative anc comprehensive foundation of natural sciences and the observation thereof.

Humans, like any other sentient lifeform, have their own set methods of interaction with varied phenomena in the natural world, restricted only by our senses and ability of perception. It is indeed true that the existence and behaviour of quantities are undoubtedly real and observable. I do not disagree with the claim that mathematics exists and is heavily integrated into our understanding of the universe, its laws, and the sciences. Regardless, it does not change the fact that mathematics is a uniquely human system of observing and identifying the recurring changes and properties of quantity.

The numerical system, an abstract medium of communication with numbers as the foundation of communicative component of mathematics. Numbers allow for the identification of unlimited variations of quantity. Alongside this, the fundamental properties of quantity (e.g. less than, greater than, addition, subtractiion, mulitplication, division, etc.). Numbers themselves are abstract applications used to standardize the expression of quantity in a communicable form. Since it is a human invention, nobody can truly prove or disprove of it's existence (regardless of it's applicability).

Mathematics is built on of conejctures, postulations, human logic/reasoning, and as a consequence -- mathematical proof based on observation. As such, there can be no valid way of obtaining empirical and rigorous proof for axiomatic concepts, which is due to the fact that observations are based on numerical units, which have no real objective basis other than estimation (I assert that no two things are ever the exact same as math suggests). The logic behind math is undisprovable, as it is self-evident: "what is one?", "why does one plus one equal two?". It was a system made for humans, and it just so happens to work because it developed both into a language and a tool for observations based on scientific methods. As such, is fully integrated into our current understanding of the universe everything empirical in sciences and therefore aren't mathematically disputable unless there was a fallacy or human error.

I will claim that the system of quantification was discovered through recurring patterns and trends of change, only to be consolidated and standardized into what we humans know and accept as the self-evident system of mathematics. Observations of change in quantity can be made by any organism with the sufficient capacity for sense perception and comprehension, yet this does not mean they are applying mathematics. It's simply an observation of change in quantity.

I would like my opponent to address any disagreements with my statements above and offer their own answers/solutions/counterstatements.

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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by RonaldTrumpkin 3 months ago
Is this broken?
Posted by RonaldTrumpkin 3 months ago
Due to outside engagements I concede this debate.
Posted by TheBenC 3 months ago
Math is just a way we explain what is already there in terms we can understand. So yes, we invented "math" but not what math explains.

Concise enough?
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