FOM: Millenium Conference

Vaughan Pratt pratt at CS.Stanford.EDU
Fri Jan 14 17:10:45 EST 2000

From: Mark Steiner <marksa at>
>I should say in Kazhdan's favor that he was very open minded,
>amenable to correction, and he concluded his talk with the hope that
>mathematics would return to its roots in philosophy; I'm not 100% sure
>what that means, but as a philosopher, I'm happy at the sentiment.

Mathematics would seem to have not just roots but a root system:
accounting, architecture, art, civil engineering, logic, music,
philosophy, physics, ..., all of which were shaping mathematics millennia

Of this particular list philosophy may well be the youngest, as well as
the slowest to influence mathematics.  Representing music, Pythagoras
preceded Aristotle by two centuries and had more influence on traditional
(core) mathematics than Aristotle.

I really appreciated this considerable expansion of your original posting,
btw, thank you (and Harvey for requesting it).

Vaughan Pratt

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