• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is mathematics invented or discovered?

Extracts from this document...


Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered? Is mathematics discoverable or is it simply invented by the immense brainpower of certain mathematicians? For centuries humans have pondered over this deep and complex matter. Mathematics can be explained in massive detail, although it is commonly summarized as "the abstract science of numbers, quantity, and space" (www.dictionary.com). Humans have assigned mathematical rules around our universe as a device used to identify and explain the void's truths. Therefore mathematics is used to express discoveries by using the invention of a language. From my perspective this makes mathematics a combination of both invention and discovery. ...read more.


Without the invention of numbers we would be without a system that is used to illustrate how much there is. This relates to Hill's theory as humans have discovered that there are a certain amount of livestock so they manipulate this into a way they can understand by creating the numeral system. It is not only mathematical systems that seem to follow this theorem. As an example, the wheel; was it invented, or did a person discover that it requires less energy to roll a circular shaped object than it does to drag an equally massed un-circular object? In conclusion this is a complex question where a multitude of assumptions have been and will be made. ...read more.


I believe that then using "invented math" things about the world and what not were able to be explained. If you look into just about any higher level mathematical proof you will find that many things will be assumed or "invented" along the way. It seems that things have been discovered about the world based on the foundation of mathematics that has been poured by the greats such as Newton, Liebtniz, and Pascal. So we discover the world around us, now how do we use and manipulate this world. Invent Mathematics. Mathematics clearly involves the invention of a language to express discoveries (or assist in making those discoveries). For example, was the wheel "invented", or did someone discover that rolling a circularly shaped object requires less energy than dragging an equally massive object? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Is Mathematics Invention or Discovery?

    Then we use the rule of logics to solve the problem and find the result. This is known as the theorem. Euclid, the most famous Greek mathematician on geometry, based on the axiom of two points can be joined by a straight line to derive his theorem in his geometry.

  2. TOk Discussion - Do we impose mathematics upon nature or is it naturally inherent ...

    For some theorems, if it has potency and originality, but not simplicity, it could instigate other research in mathematics and expand knowledge in that area. Having a short and concise theorem may be not be as important as its usefulness in the mathematical world.

  1. Discuss the claim that some areas of knowledge are discovered and others are invented

    It is surely not an invention; at the very least we can demonstrate it empirically. However, we must consider the difference between 'two apples and two apples makes four apples' and '2 + 2 = 4'.

  2. Discuss the claim that some areas of knowledge are discovered and others are invented:

    over time; however, these conventions, I believe, have been discovered by people to ease social situations. It is sort of like the discussion of the chicken and the egg; for instance, if politeness between humans was "discovered" then it could possibly mean that this factor existed in the mind of a higher being such as God previously.

  1. Free essay

    Are moral values invented or discovered? What importance does this question have for moral ...

    As Mackie puts it, when saying an act is wrong because it is cruel, "what in the world is signified by this 'because'?" As already mentioned, a realist view of ethics is quite an automatic one, and so to convincingly reject the doctrine we must offer a plausible alternative.

  2. Discuss the claim that [in the History of Chemistry] some knowledge are discovered and ...

    On the other hand, invention is the conscious creation of an idea, object or process resulting from prior research, study and experimentation. Invention can thus be understood to exist solely because of the inventor, while a discovery is just learning about something that existed prior to it.

  1. Discuss the claim that some Areas of Knowledge are discovered and others are invented.

    Implications such case is that any type knowledge known before the human race could possibly be identified as discovered knowledge. Similarly to my exploration of the Fibonacci series, we learned in TOK class about Fractal geometry which was discovered by Benoit Mandelbrot.

  2. Discuss the claim that some areas of knowledge are discovered and others are invented.

    One possible answer is that these perfect shapes exist in a non-physical form in another dimension. This idea is based on Plato?s beliefs, the ancient Greek philosopher. However this answer is unlikely to be accepted without any justification. The other solution is that perfect shapes do not exist, and just a creation of out mind ? invention.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work