LudovicoVan
Posts:
4,033
From:
London
Registered:
2/8/08


Re: Is it possible that 3+4=8?
Posted:
Jan 23, 2011 3:31 PM


On Jan 23, 7:47 pm, Craig Feinstein <cafei...@msn.com> wrote: > > Let's pretend that we live in a world where there are invisible pixies > running around messing everything up. Let's say you have 3 balls in > your left hand and 4 balls in your right hand. Whenever you combine > the balls together, one of these invisible pixies secretly throws in > another ball, so that whenever you count the balls, you come up with 8 > balls. So in this pretend world, it is a known fact that 3+4=8. Anyone > who disputes this fact in our pretend world is considered either crazy > or stupid. > > In our real world, it is a known fact that 3+4=7. But how can we be > sure that there are no invisible pixies running around taking balls > away from us causing us to think that 3+4=7 when really 3+4=8? > > My point is that mathematics is considered a deductive science, in > which everything is absolutely certain. But how can mathematics prove > that the above scenario cannot be true?
I don't think mathematics is a deductive science: mathematics is hardly a science at all. OTOH, in a world were 3+4=7, I'd also expect 1=/=0: i.e. no mathematical fact exists in isolation...
LV

