On Thu, 13 Jul 2006 09:33:58 -0400, Hatto von Aquitanien <abbot@AugiaDives.hre> wrote:
>Virgil wrote: > >> If the technicalities of set theory were as easy to learn as Russell >> seems to think it ought to be then everyone would learn it in grade >> school. In fact, it, like many specialities, usually takes years of >> study for one to become really good at it. > >A good number of people can master concepts of mathematics sufficiently to >solve difficult problems in, say, fluid mechanics without much grasp of set >theory. That makes me wonder if set theory really is fundamental to >mathematics.
I believe set theory is essential to modern math.
> I ask what it is that underlies the pragmatic application of >sophisticated mathematics. What are the intuitive assumptions these people >have made, and how are they manipulating ideas? I believe what I'm asking >is, what are the anthropological foundations of mathematics?
Not exactly the same question. The historical or anthropological foundations of math are certainly interesting. But the more interesting question is why people are using intuitive assumptions in math at all? ~v~~