[FOM] Platonism and Formalism
torkel at sm.luth.se
Sat Sep 27 21:14:13 EDT 2003
Vladimir Sazonov says:
>It is Platonism, "the unique" absolute standard model of PA independent
>on anything - what is mysticism and meditation.
In everyday life, and in ordinary reasoning, we take many things for
granted. It is open to you, or to anybody, to question what we take
for granted, but such questioning will be of little interest (to most
people) as long as it does not provide any workable and
fruitful alternatives. In the present case, a metaphysically sensitive
person will reject the idea that "the number"
(which is the RSA $200,000 challenge number) has a determinate
factorization which we don't as yet know, and perhaps will never
know. Such metaphysical sensitivity is fine, but it will not have any
impact on people's thinking unless it can be used in some illuminating
alternative explanation of the relation or correlation between theory
and practice in computation. Ethereal metaphysical misgivings about
the "mysticism" involved in ordinary thinking about numbers are in
themselves just unworldly complaints divorced from practical
intellectual concerns. Since you mention absolute time, let us note
that Einstein spent no time or effort arguing about the mystical
character of the idea of absolute time.
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