FOM: wider cultural significance, part 1 (postmodernism)

gerald westerby, honourable schoolboy palma at
Thu Mar 4 05:15:04 EST 1999

to all FOM, while I find Martin Davis' remarks perfectly on target, they
have very little to do with the foundations of mathematics (whether in the
graphic or the strictly propositional versions.)
On the other hand (I am in philosophy) it is not a bad practice for
anybody to provide evidence (in terms of proof) of the claims presented.
So when Simpson claims that Karl Marx was postmodernist (in his
understanding of the claim as equivalent to the denial of truth, tarskian,
guptian, popperian, lakatosian, or otherwise minimally interpreted) there
si no evidence whichsoever of the claim.
Two suggestions: while FOM is a subject challenging enough the 
practitioners would benefit from applying the same standards of evidence
to other subjects (was Goedel a platonist? yes, see his papers and in
particular "Russell's mathematical logic" e.g;0_

was Marx "polylogicist"? well...... proof.????

second suggestion, let us try to stick to a civilized tone. Already in the
past several people told me in private that they were disgusted by the
idiotic level of backbiting and plain academic nastyness displayed by the
worshippers of the queen of sciences (that's math)

I cut much of the texts since they are too long and people already saw
then (I think yesterday)


  Ratio, enim, nisi judex universalis esse deberet, frustra singulis datur. 
  [ _Questiones Naturales_, Adelard of Bath ] 

On Wed, 3 Mar 1999, Martin Davis wrote:

> Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 13:48:29 -0800
> From: Martin Davis <davism at>
> To: simpson at, fom at
> Subject: Re: FOM: wider cultural significance, part 1 (postmodernism)
> At 03:06 PM 3/3/99 -0500, simpson at wrote:
> >However, let's not go off on a tangent.  This is the FOM list, so
> >let's keep the discussion close to foundations of mathematics.  It
> >seems to me that there is a logic tie-in here, via Marx.
> >
> >Martin Davis 1 Mar 1999 21:36:30 said of the postmodernists:
> >
> > > These folks are neither "neo" nor "Marxist." Marx thought to have
> > > found the truth. These folks deny its existence.
> >
> >I disagree.  Marx was no truth-seeker.  Indeed, Marx made a major
> >contribution to truth-denial, with his theory of *polylogism*, i.e.,
> >the theory that there is no one absolute or universal logic.
> >According to Marx, logic is conditioned by non-logical factors.  In
> >Marx's specific version of the theory, the determining factor is

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