FOM: certainty

Michael Thayer mthayer at
Mon Dec 21 19:16:18 EST 1998

Andrzej Trybulec answers :
>> >
>> > Vladimir Sazonov said he is "a permanent opponent of those who assert
>> > existence of absolute mathematical truth."  I don't know what
>> > "absolute truth" means.
>> I too! Does anybody know?
> I don't either. But "2+2=4" seems to be absolutely true.
>Andrzej Trybulec

Yes, but WHY does it seem absolutely true??
Is it any better grounded in our knowledge than either:

1."The Sun will rise tomorrow"
2."Winston Churchill was a Prime minister of England"

I know it SEEMS absolutely true in a way that 1 or 2 do not; but it is
clearly no more certain (and on similar grounds) than 1 or 2.

So the question is why do we feel it is different?  Or is this a question in
evolutionary psychology, rather than a question of mathematics?


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