On 2/15/2011 1:48 PM, 1Z wrote:


On Feb 15, 9:22 pm, Brent Meeker<meeke...@dslextreme.com>  wrote:
    Whatever question you can
ask about a number has a factual answer, although you may not know it or
how to find it...numbers are wholly defined by a set of axioms, it seems that
they are more real than fictional characters.
But being able to answer question is essentially epistemic. It doesn't
imply any ontology in itself. The epistemic fact that we can , in
principle, answer
questions about real people may be explained by the existence and
perceptual accessibility
of real people:

So the epistemic facts have an ontological implication. If I describe a man who lives at 10 Baker Street, smokes dope, and works as a detective you won't know whether he's real or not. But if I tell you there is no fact of the matter about whether he has a mole on his arm, then you'll know he's a fiction.

but our ability to answer questions about mathematical
objects
is explained by the existence of clear definitions and rules doesn't
need to posit
of existing immaterial numbers (plus some mode of quasi-perceptual
access
to them).

I agree. Although it's interesting that some people with synasthesia apparently perceive numbers as having various perceptual properties.

Brent

    But when you consider arithmetic as a whole this no
longer holds.  There may be questions that aren't decidable and whose
answer could be added as an axiom; the way a writer could add a mole to
Sherlock Holmes' arm.

Brent

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