# [lit-ideas] Re: Benoit Mandelbrot

*From*: cblists@xxxxxxxx*To*: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx*Date*: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 09:54:14 +0200

On 17-Oct-10, at 12:26 PM, Donal McEvoy wrote:

`Important thinker whose work arguably has important philosophical`

`implications - for example, on the relation between maths and physics`

`and on information theory, whatever that is.`

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11560101

`One wonders whether article and headlines were written by two`

`different people; or whether the BBC wished to side-step - by`

`straddling (interesting image, that) - the 'mathematics is a process`

`of discovery of essential elements (Platonists read: 'Archetypal`

`Forms') of reality' / 'mathematics is a creative enterprise`

`(Wittgensteinians read: 'language game') of great value in the`

`development of a (Instrumentalists add: 'workable') picture of`

`reality' controversy.`

`In the sub-headline of the BBBC article (emphasis added): "Benoit`

`Mandelbrot, who *discovered* mathematical shapes known as fractals,`

`has died of cancer at the age of 85."`

`In the body of the article (again, emphasis added): "Mandelbrot, who`

`had joint French and US nationality, *developed* fractals as a`

`mathematical way of understanding the infinite complexity of nature."`

`I once asked a mathematician whether he thought he was discovering or`

`constructing his methods and results. He was decidedly in the`

`Platonist camp.`

Chris Bruce, Kiel, Germany -- ------------------------------------------------------------------ To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off, digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

**References**:**[lit-ideas] Benoit Mandelbrot***From:*Donal McEvoy

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- » [lit-ideas] Re: Benoit Mandelbrot - Edward Gleason
- » [lit-ideas] Re: Benoit Mandelbrot - Eric Yost
- » [lit-ideas] Re: Benoit Mandelbrot - cblists