Can facts be fabricated through mathematics? (English)

Philos. Math. Educ. J. 25, Special Issue: Critical Mathematics Education, 18 p., electronic only (2010).

Summary: By way of introduction we consider the idea that epistemic structures can represent ontological structures and that one can obtain an affinity between knowledge and a reality to which that knowledge relates. Next we consider how Nietzsche and Foucault formulate an extreme opposition to this position by claiming that no reality provides knowledge or truth with any substantiation. There is no reality which knowledge and truth is about. This observation leads Foucault to perceive that knowledge and power operate in a complex dialectics. After discussing the notion of truth as developed with reference to mathematics, we address a particular example illustrating the notion of mathematical constructs. By addressing such constructs, we formulate more broadly what it could mean to see mathematics as part of any form of fabrication within technologic, economic, and socio-political contexts. Through such observations we may come to acknowledge that the way Nietzsche and Foucault addressed the notions of truth and knowledge might be relevant with respect also to mathematics.