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Topic: CL # 4, Some comments
Replies: 28   Last Post: Nov 14, 1996 10:36 PM

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Richard W. Wilson

Posts: 31
Registered: 12/6/04
conflict in views of mathematics
Posted: Nov 11, 1996 11:17 AM
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On Mon, 11 Nov 1996, W. Gary Martin wrote:
>This really comes down to a conflict in views of mathematics. You seem to
>be advancing a realist view of mathematics, that math exists independently
>of human experience. Others take a more constructivist view, that math is
>inherently a part of the human experience, meaning that social interaction
>is a critical part of mathematics.


Math could be, and I believe is, both independent of and inherently a part
of human experience. I'm not sure we want to get off into this very
theoretical/philosophical debate when we have been primarily dealing with
more directly mathematical issues recently. It goes to show you/us,
however, that mathematics as we know it is definitely at least socially
communicated.

I'm curious again, is the debate about constructivist versus realist
philosophical perspectives as prevalent in the field(s) of science as it
is in mathematics? Do most scientists believe their work deals primarily
with a universe that is really "out there" or that it is merely a
mental/social construct? Is mathematics no longer considered the mother
of the sciences, but a illusional (delusional?) aunt? Science as I view
it is both a socially constructed realm of human concepts and a system of
valid/true representations of a reality that is really out there.

I know these are "faith" issues, and so it seems that to be consistent,
the constructivist ought only to express his/her agnosticism about the
nature of things, whereas the realist can press on with her/his beliefs,
confident that the constructivist can't refute her/his perspective. To
paraphrase Shakespeare: There are more than things in heaven and earth,
Constuctivist, than conceived in your philosophy.

Are you pondering what I'm pondering? 8=)

Richard W. Wilson




Date Subject Author
11/9/96
Read CL # 4, Some comments
Kim or Melodie Mackey
11/9/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Ralph A. Raimi
11/9/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Andre TOOM
11/9/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Ralph A. Raimi
11/9/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Tad Watanabe
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Ralph A. Raimi
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Tad Watanabe
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Ralph A. Raimi
11/10/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
roitman@oberon.math.ukans.edu
11/10/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Ralph A. Raimi
11/10/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Andre TOOM
11/10/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
W Gary Martin
11/10/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Ralph A. Raimi
11/10/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Howard L. Hansen
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Ralph A. Raimi
11/10/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Jack Roach
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
W Gary Martin
11/11/96
Read conflict in views of mathematics
Richard W. Wilson
11/11/96
Read Re: conflict in views of mathematics
W Gary Martin
11/14/96
Read Re: conflict in views of mathematics
Richard W. Wilson
11/13/96
Read Re: conflict in views of mathematics
Ralph A. Raimi
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Michael Paul Goldenberg
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
roitman@oberon.math.ukans.edu
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
roitman@oberon.math.ukans.edu
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Andre TOOM
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
mtbb0@ms.uky.edu
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
W Gary Martin
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Ralph A. Raimi
11/11/96
Read Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Helen Mansfield

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