# Mathematics

The theory of computation has traditionally been studied almost entirely in the abstract, as a topic in pure mathematics. This is to miss the point of it. Computers are physical objects, and computations are physical processes. What computers can or cannot compute is determined by the laws of physics alone, and not by pure mathematics. —
David Deutsch, The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes — and Its Implications

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The whole motivation for seeking a perfectly secure foundation for mathematics was mistaken. It was a form of justificationism. Mathematics is characterized by its use of proofs in the same way that science is characterized by its use of experimental testing; in neither case is that the object of the exercise. The object of mathematics is to understand – to explain – abstract entities. Proof is primarily a means of ruling out false explanations; and sometimes it also provides mathematical truths that need to be explained. But, like all fields in which progress is possible, mathematics seeks not random truths but good explanations. —
David Deutsch, The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

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But then the philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), who was well aware of the distinction between the absolutely necessary truths of mathematics and the contingent truths of science, nevertheless concluded that Euclid’s theory of geometry was self-evidently true of nature. —
David Deutsch, The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World