Date: Mar 25, 2013 12:14 PM
Author: David Petry
Subject: Re: Mathematics and the Roots of Postmodern Thought

On Monday, March 25, 2013 7:37:18 AM UTC-7, Dan wrote:
> On Mar 25, 7:28 am, david petry <>
> wrote:

> > Mathematics and the Roots of Postmodern Thought
> > Author:  Vladimir Tasi?
> > Oxford University Press, 2001

> > "[this book] traces the root of postmodern theory to a debate on the foundations of mathematics early in the 20th century"  -- from a blurb appearing in Google Books

> > I've always thought there was a connection:

> > Theorem:  Truth, reality and logic are mere social constructs.
> > Proof: By Godel's theorem,  yada, yada, yada

> > I actually believe that postmodernism is driving western civilization into a dark ages.  And I think that's a good reason for getting mystical metaphysical nonsense out of mathematics.  But no one seems to care.

> Rather ironic that you're attempting to use Godel's theorem to
> undermine meaning in mathematics .

Actually I'm not. The point I was alluding to is that whenever I see postmodernism discussed on the Internet, Godel's theorem always seems to come up. I think that's silly.

Here's what I actually believe: Falsifiability, which is the cornerstone of scientific reasoning, can be formalized in such a way that it can serve as the cornerstone of mathematical reasoning. And in fact, it's already part of the reasoning used by applied mathematicians; ZFC, which is not compatible with falsifiability, is not a formalization of the mathematical reasoning used in applied mathematics. Also, Godel's proof is not compatible with falsifiability.

It is falsifiability that gives mathematics meaning.

> any well defined program either
> halts of does not halt , always .

Of course, the constructivists who reject the Law of the Excluded Middle, disagree.