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Re: Mathematical theories (was Re: [cs-pdcdca] Re: [ProgSoc] Aquestions)
On Tue, 24 Jun 2003, Vik wrote:
> There's a couple of thoughts I've been having with respect to this.
> Firstly, I think that culture is intrinsically tied to language.
> Destruction of language is a well known colonial tool. Some would argue
> that mathematics is a language (albeit a formal one). Heh - perhaps we
> could draw a parallel here with programming languages, b I'll leave that
> aside for the moment. Mathematics implies a certain way of thinking - a
> logical analytical way. The axioms are defined. The answer is right or
> wrong. Some cultures (the first that comes to mind is Taoism) don't have
> such allow for such a clear cut view of things.
I think it is worth mentioning that there is multivalue logic which
baisicly postulates that there could be several other answers apart from
True and False. Not mentioning fuzzy logic as Tony wrote but I don't
want to go into details because I know only basic ideas, but if someone
feels like giving me an more thorough insight in this theory I will be
very happy ;)
> The thing I don't get about Platonism is that if mathematics exists `out
> there', where do the axioms come from? We have to create them. OK - we can
> have different mathematical worlds, based on different axioms. So
> mathematics is more of a `meta' thing, with no application or relation to
> the real world. I would argue that this prevents it from being `out
> there', and more of a way of thinking - one which has largely been agreed
> upon by those who use it. Perhaps it is part of the collective conscience.
> But this would mean it could be different between cultures, so back to the
> original point.
> btw - western cultural imprerialism is a strong term; I threw it out there
> as an exaggeration (I first came across the idea in some academic paper)
> to get some ideas going.
As for me I think that matematics is mainly the way menkind see the
reality. What I mean is asking the question 'What is matematics ?' should
be rather: What is matematics for human beings ? because I cannot imagine
that photo of a beautiful fractal can be worth the attention of some other
civilization or species not using the same light spectrum, for instance.
Thus if someone ask me whether matematics is universal I would say 'yes'
but for us people.
This always makes me funny when scientists are looking for some
matematical constants send in the signals from the space like it was the
only possible way of looking on the world. (racism ? ;) )
Anyway I think Plato concepts are quite boring and I follow a bit more
solipsisitic way of looking into reality.
P.S. Yes I agree with Andrew lets create maybe some other place then UTS
mailing list for this esoteric discussion.
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