Sculpture of Plato
(Photo: Thomas T/Unsplash; Collage: Alex Russell/UC Davis)

Elaine Landry's new book and article profiled

Quick Summary

  • UC Davis philosopher Elaine Landry helps mathematicians and physicists understand what's real when they solve problems.

In a research paper and in her book Plato Was Not a Mathematical Platonist, Landry, professor and department chair of philosophy in the College of Letters and Science, argues that Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher born over 2,400 years ago, shows a better way to think about what’s real in mathematics.

Landry defends the "as-iftist" approach to mathematical objects. At first glance, Landry’s argument for an “as-ifist” approach may seem like a subtle shift, but it’s as radical as the difference between studying a tree’s leaf, bark and branches individually and studying the system of how they contribute to the tree’s life.

Instead of focusing on the existence or non-existence of objects of mathematics — numbers, vectors and other objects — Landry’s as-ifist approach focuses on the method of mathematics.

Check out the profile of Prof. Landry's new article and book in the link below!

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