Quentin Anciaux wrote:
> 2009/9/16 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com
> On 16 Sep, 12:54, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com
> <mailto: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,
> > > 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
> > 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 based) ?
Physical theories are not only numbers based. They are based on
operational definitions (which can be ostensive). Logical (i.e.
mathematical) descriptions are used, but they require interpretations in
terms of the operational definitions. Bruno's theory also requires
interpretation of terms like "believe" and "know" in terms of arithmetic.
> All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
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