Date: Mar 25, 2013 5:26 PM Author: fom Subject: Re: Mathematics and the Roots of Postmodern Thought On 3/25/2013 4:19 PM, Dan wrote:

> On Mar 25, 7:14 pm, david petry <david_lawrence_pe...@yahoo.com>

> wrote:

>> On Monday, March 25, 2013 7:37:18 AM UTC-7, Dan wrote:

>>> On Mar 25, 7:28 am, david petry <david_lawrence_pe...@yahoo.com>

>>> 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.

>

> Science originated from mathematics , not the other way around . To

> attempt to apply the ridiculous constraints of science to mathematics

> seems to me , frankly, ludicrous .

> The principle of falsifiability says roughly this : you have this

> mysterious entity , the world , like a black box , of which you don't

> assume nothing about . Absolutely nothing . A black box that sends out

> output that might as well be random . As a result of this , you can

> have theories about how the box works, but you can never be sure .

> Nothing about the world can be proven true , at most what you think

> about the world can be proven false . The box may print out prime

> numbers for 1000 years . So , you can assume it only prints prime

> numbers . But then you see a composite number . And you're never

> allowed to open the box .

>

> Why this asymmetry? Never to prove, only to disprove . That is the

> burden of falsifiability . Anything certain is non-falsifiable, by

> definition . Certainty gives meaning , falsifiability erodes it. .

>

> What it means is that my theory that 'All apples will turn violet

> tomorrow' is not disprovable until tomorrow .

> And my theory that 'All apples will at one time turn violet' is newer

> disprovable .

>

> In themselves, all models (guesses?) of the world will be

> mathematical . Thus , relative only to themselves , being grounded in

> the certainty of Mathematics, they will be true . Newtonian Gravity is

> and remains a self-consistent theory, and can be simulated to great

> extent , it just produces result incompatible with the the empirical

> observations of the World . Thus , if we are to assume that the World

> works somehow (already a heresy , a complete correct theory should not

> be falsifiable ) , then Newtonian Gravity is not how the World

> works .

>

> Rather than attempting to extent falsifiability to Mathematics , we

> should attempt to extent the adamant principles of Mathematics to the

> World, thus freeing it from falsifiability . The pythagoreans knew

> things scientists do not , namely , that the World is rational, and

> the harmony between man as Microcosm and the world as Macrocosms (as

> above ,so below , as within, so without ... know thyself...) .

>

> Numbers are the bedrock of certainty . Here ,falsifiability can and

> must stop . There are an infinite 'number' of numbers , (empiricism

> and falsifiability are limited by finite observation ) , yet they

> are all uniquely determined as individuals and as a whole.

> Godel's theorem is incompatible with falsifiability , but that is not

> an argument for its falseness , rather, a necessary condition for it

> to be true . Indeed , what is mathematics (set theory excluded) is

> compatible with falsifiability?

>

> Is the fact that there are five regular polyhedra compatible with

> falsifiability? That there are an infinite number of primes ? (Euclid

> would be devastated ) That no cubed non-zero integer can be written

> as the sum of two other cubed non-zero integers?

>

> I share part of you aversion to set theory , but for entirely

> different reasons . Forgive me if my tone seemed attaching, I often

> seem outspoken ... Now that I've exposed more of my viewpoint, I

> would like to hear more of yours. There's always something new to

> learn.

>

I liked your explanation of the necessity

attached to universals. Very astute.