FOM: Feferman wet blanket for f.o.m.? wtait at
Tue Mar 17 12:42:12 EST 1998

Robert Tragesser (17/3) wrote, while protesting the label wet blanket for 
Sol Feferman

>(Where one does
>not take the "philosophy of mathematics" to be
>that in-bred academic discipline,  but "philosophy" in
>Plato's sense,  as a thinking about mathematics that
>aims to make us wiser about and at mathematics -- that
>aims to make mathematicians fully GOOD mathematicians. --

Robert, I protest this view of Plato, who `would have' seen the question 
of the existence of large cardinals and CH as the leading problems in 
fom, i.e. for the dialectician. In his discussion of mathematics 
(properly, exact science) e.g. in the _Phaedo_ (the `second best method') 
and in the Divided Line simile in the _republic_ (noesis), he was arguing 
precisely for foundations in the sense of *finding the first principles 
for these sciences*. There is enough contemporary literature contributing 
to the idea of Plato as, to be sure a genious, but one whose ideas are 
either totally obscure (which, forgive me, I think the ones you are 
attributing to him are) or are such that one would have to be thick as a 
log to pretend to understand, much less believe. 

No need to slander one while defending another.

Bill Tait

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