Author Archives: fbenedictus

About fbenedictus

Philosopher of physics at Amsterdam University College and Utrecht University, managing editor for Foundations of Physics and international paraclimbing athlete

What Does ‘=’ Mean?

It is often said that in mathematical equations, such as ‘2+2=4’, the symbol ‘=’ represents the fact that on both sides of the equation there is the same thing. That’s wrong: on the one side there are three symbols, while … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Philosophy of Mathematics | 1 Comment

Strange Encounters

The man from Dutch Railways (NS) had actually grabbed and stopped my tricycle and walked around to stand in front of me. My front wheel was between his feet, so I couldn’t turn away. He looked at me and said: … Continue reading

Posted in Personal, Travels | 2 Comments

Einstein & Kant: Synthetic Relativity?

Einstein’s approach to physics may be compared to Kant’s approach to philosophy. Where Kant derived things about the world we perceive from the possibility of human knowledge, Einstein derived things about the world we perceive from the possibility of human … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Philosophy of Physics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Wikimedia2017 lezing – Feiten bestaan!?

Vragen aan het Publiek Steek uw hand omhoog als u denkt dat de uitdrukking klopt. ‘feiten bestaan niet’ ‘feiten kunnen waar of onwaar zijn’ ‘feiten kunnen waargebeurd zijn’ ‘een verhaal kan waargebeurd zijn’ Volgens de Nederlandse Van Dale is een … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Philosophy of Mathematics, Philosophy of Physics | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Paraclimbing Edinburgh

In September I competed for the IFSC Paraclimbing Worldcup in Edinburgh (UK). The two qualification routes went well, but in the finals I fell from the third grip (the grip I’m sitting on in the picture). But I had a … Continue reading

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Do Mathematicians Discover or Create?

“Mathematical proof, according to the intuitionist, shouldn’t be based on the metaphysical assumption that the truth is in a sense ‘binary’ (that propositions must be either true or false).” Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy of Mathematics | 2 Comments

Paraclimbing in Imst

Last month* I participated in a paraclimbing competition in Imst, Austria. The wall which we climbed was situated between the beautiful Tiroler mountains. In the movie below you can see my attempt at climbing the second of the six routes … Continue reading

Posted in paraclimbing, Travels | 1 Comment

What Is Mathematics?

Mathematics is a language. More specifically, mathematics is the language that scientists use to organise and order observations. For example, physicists may describe falling stones in terms of mathematical concepts like parabolas and perfect spheres and sociologists describe their observations … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy of Mathematics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

PhD Dissertation

I have defended my PhD dissertation on 13/07/2017 in Utrecht. Below you can find the documents which have kept me busy for several years: Preface (English) Samenvatting (Nederlands) Gearfetting (Frysk) Complete Dissertation    

Posted in Philosophy of Mathematics, Philosophy of Physics, Probability | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The White Rabbit’s Watch

Alice and the Friendly Minotaur have decided to go on a search for the Architect. Alice wants to ask the Architect – who designed the Minotaur’s labyrinth – whether numbers were used in making the labyrinth’s design. She hopes that … Continue reading

Posted in Numbers in Wonderland | 2 Comments