[FOM] Platonism and Formalism

Torkel Franzen torkel at sm.luth.se
Tue Sep 30 06:38:33 EDT 2003

 Vladimir Sazonov says:

  >Why do YOU resist to such questions and to attempts to resolve 
  >them in a rational way? Why do YOU continue to insist that even 
  >if some views are mysticism, let them be? Let us wait for 
  >something more concrete. Then we will see what to do.
  >Let me hope that this is only some misunderstanding.

  It is indeed. I have no opinon about what anybody should or should
not ask or do in foundations or in mathematics. I am merely claiming
that as a matter of brutal fact, misgivings about "mysticism" in our
ordinary thinking about numbers will have no impact in practice unless
they result in some illuminating alternative account of the relation
and correlation between theory and practice in computing. There is no
need to wait for something more concrete: the "more concrete" exists
in abundance, in the innumerable actual uses of concrete mathematics
(in the sense of the book by Graham, Knuth, and Patashnik).

Torkel Franzen

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