Friday, April 22, 2011

Romancing the Hyperspace

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:59 PM

For the title, see Palm Sunday.

"There is a pleasantly discursive treatment of
Pontius Pilate's unanswered question 'What is truth?'" — H. S. M. Coxeter, 1987

From this date (April 22) last year—

Image-- examples from Galois affine geometry

Richard J. Trudeau in The Non-Euclidean Revolution , chapter on "Geometry and the Diamond Theory of Truth"–

"… Plato and Kant, and most of the philosophers and scientists in the 2200-year interval between them, did share the following general presumptions:

(1) Diamonds– informative, certain truths about the world– exist.
(2) The theorems of Euclidean geometry are diamonds.

Presumption (1) is what I referred to earlier as the 'Diamond Theory' of truth. It is far, far older than deductive geometry."

Trudeau's book was published in 1987. The non-Euclidean* figures above illustrate concepts from a 1976 monograph, also called "Diamond Theory."

Although non-Euclidean,* the theorems of the 1976 "Diamond Theory" are also, in Trudeau's terminology, diamonds.

* "Non-Euclidean" here means merely "other than  Euclidean." No violation of Euclid's parallel postulate is implied.

Trudeau comes to reject what he calls the "Diamond Theory" of truth. The trouble with his argument is the phrase "about the world."

Geometry, a part of pure mathematics, is not  about the world. See G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology .

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