Article/Publication Details

Chess as a Metaphor for Mathematics

(Original title: Šach ako metafora matematiky)
Filozofia, 2015, vol. 70, No 3, pp. 175-187.
Language: Slovak
File to download: PDF*
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The proponents of analytical philosophy often draw a comparison between mathe- matics and chess. Their metaphor is to suggest that both the result of mathematical calculation and the content of a mathematical statement are determined by the rules of “mathematical game” of some kind and independent of status quo. The steps made in a given calculation or proof arguments are game moves – and similarly to a position in chess the position in a “mathematical game” has no factual content. The aim of the article is to question the metaphor at issue and show the multiple characteristics of mathematical symbols that make them principally different from chessmen. The arguments introduced are to show that contrary to chess mathematics enables us to understand the world, discern its structure and grasp its coherence. The metaphor in question thus can be labeled as systematically misleading.


Chess, Mathematics, Philosophy of mathematics

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