Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hacking 1984

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:00 PM

Ian Hacking in 1984

"… theories about mathematics have had a big place in Western philosophy. All kinds of outlandish doctrines have tried to explain the nature of mathematical knowledge. Socrates set the ball rolling by using a proof in geometry to argue for the transmigration of souls. As reported by Plato in Meno , the boy who invents a proof of a theorem did not experiment on the physical world, but used only his mind in response to Socratic questions. Hence he must have had inborn knowledge of the proof and he must have got this knowledge in a previous incarnation.

Mathematics has never since been a subject for such philosophical levity."

See also this afternoon's post.

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