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Formal Mathematics

Formal Mathematics

What do we know about Mathematics. How can we be sure that $$1+1=2$$? In this article we look at a famous attempt to formalise all of Maths.

Between 1910 and 1913 British Mathematicians Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell published three versions of their book Principia Mathematica.

In these books they attempted to formalise all known mathematics and logic, in the most basic sense possible. They wanted to build up from the start and establish the foundations of the subject.

These works took them around 360 pages to be able to prove that (1+1=2).

Have a look at the video below, and your ideas will be useful in our discussion in the next step.

It contains certain things that we, would consider most obvious, such as ‘any list of numbers must have at least one number greater than or equal to all of the others’.