fom wrote: > > On 3/28/2013 11:11 AM, Frederick Williams wrote: > > fom wrote: > > > >>> > >>> It's a curious thing, one might think that numbers are man made, and yet > >>> they have an uncanny applicability to the world. > >>> > >> > >> To the extent that the empirical testing of non-primate > >> animals on this subject is meaningful, number-sense appears > >> to have greater scope than mankind. Every now and then some > >> small article to that effect appears in Science News or > >> Scientific American. All of the claims involve counts less > >> than 10. > > > > I stand corrected. > > > > Corrected? I thought I had been supporting the > 'uncanny applicability to the world' phrase. > > Does not 'might think' differ from 'thinks'? > > And, does not the use of 'yet' carry the contrastive > pragmatics of 'but' that is not reflected in the > formal semantics that treats it as an 'and'? > > :-)
Oh, I thought my claim that one might think that numbers are man made was brought into doubt by the counting non-primates. If not, then I... um... stand corrected.
Upon reflection it could be that they are both man-made and also giraffe-made. (For some values of giraffe.)
As for 'uncanny applicability', I had in mind Wigner's 'Unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences.
-- When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. Jonathan Swift: Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting