2009/9/16 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>
> On 16 Sep, 12:54, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > 2009/9/16 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>:
> > >> I find that I can't real say what the difference is supposed to be
> > >> between numbers existing mathematically and numbers existing
> > >> Platonically, other than that different labels are being used. What
> > >> precisely is the latter supposed to entail that the former does not,
> > >> and what difference is this supposed to make? Can you help, Peter?
> > > Existing mathematically doesn't have any ontoloigcal meaning.
> > > Both formalists and Platonists can agree that 7 exists,
> > > since they agree Ex:x=7 is true, but only the latter think
> > > 7 has Platonic existence.
> > Yes, but I still don't see what difference the word 'ontological'
> > makes in this context. Surely whatever world-conjuring power numbers
> > may possess can't depend on which label is attached to them?
> The knowabilitry of a claim about what powers numbers
> have can only depend on what labels are correctly attached.
> Petrol is not flammable just becaue I attached the label
> "flammable" to it. Petrol *Is* flammable, and that
> makes the label-attachment correct.
> > If a
> > mathematical scheme fulfils a deep enough explanatory role (a moot
> > point I admit) isn't that 'ontological' enough?
> If you are claiming that the *existence* of numbers
> would explain somehting empierica;, that is an abductive
> argument for Platonism. Other than that sayign "Numbers
> explain" is too vague. Numbers are often used to
> explain things about other numbers. So what,
> says the formalist, none of them exist and such
> explanations are nothing but moves in a game.
Well if it's a game how do you explain it fits observation ? How do you
explain the predictability of physical theories (which are *only* numbers
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
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