Spinoza’s geometrical approach to his masterwork, the Ethics, can be represented by a digraph, a mathematicalobject whose properties have been extensively studied. The paper describes a project that developed a series of computer programs to analyze the Ethics as a digraph. The paper presents a statistical analysis of the distribution of the elements of the Ethics. It applies a network statistic, betweenness, to analyze the relative importance to Spinoza’s argument of the individual propositions. The paper finds that (...) a small percentage of the propositions greatly exceed the majority in this importance. The paper then describes two logical structures that appear respectively in the Ethics and argues that they result in redundancy in the sense that about ten percent of the propositions could have been eliminated. The appendices list these structures and describes how the resources of the study can be made available to readers. (shrink)
Callard (2007) argues that it is metaphysically possible that a mathematicalobject, although abstract, causally affects the brain. I raise the following objections. First, a successful defence of mathematical realism requires not merely the metaphysical possibility but rather the actuality that a mathematicalobject affects the brain. Second, mathematical realists need to confront a set of three pertinent issues: why a mathematicalobject does not affect other concrete objects and other mathematical (...) objects, what counts as a mathematicalobject, and how we can have knowledge about an unchanging object. (shrink)
Mathematical realism asserts that mathematical objects exist in the abstract world, and that a mathematical sentence is true or false, depending on whether the abstract world is as the mathematical sentence says it is. I raise two objections against mathematical realism. First, the abstract world is queer in that it allows for contradictory states of affairs. Second, mathematical realism does not have a theoretical resource to explain why a sentence about a tricle is true (...) or false. A tricle is an object that changes its shape from a triangle to a circle, and then back to a triangle with every second. (shrink)
A basic thesis of Neokantian epistemology and philosophy of science contends that the knowing subject and the object to be known are only abstractions. What really exists, is the relation between both. For the elucidation of this “knowledge relation ("Erkenntnisrelation") the Neokantians of the Marburg school used a variety of mathematical metaphors. In this con-tribution I reconsider some of these metaphors proposed by Paul Natorp, who was one of the leading members of the Marburg school. It is shown (...) that Natorp's metaphors are not unrelated to those used in some currents of contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science. (shrink)
This paper offers a new interpretation for Wittgenstein`s treatment of mathematical identities. As it is widely known, Wittgenstein`s mature philosophy of mathematics includes a general rejection of abstract objects. On the other hand, the traditional interpretation of mathematical identities involves precisely the idea of a single abstract object – usually a number –named by both sides of an equation.
Art is one thing, the aesthetic another. Things can be appreciated aesthetically – for instance, in terms of the traditional category of the beautiful – without being works of art. A landscape can be appreciated as beautiful; so can a man or a woman. Appreciation of such natural objects in terms of their beauty certainly counts as aesthetic appreciation, if anything does. This is not simply because landscapes and people are not artefacts; for there are also artefacts which are assessable (...) aesthetically without being works of art (e.g. an elegant car or a mathematical proof)... (shrink)
A close reading of the five mathematical studies Socrates proposes for the philosopher-to-be in Republic VII, arguing that (1) each study proposes an object the thought of which turns the soul towards pure intelligibility and that (2) the sequence of studies involves both a departure from the sensible and a return to it in its intelligible structure.
This essay uses a mental files theory of singular thought—a theory saying that singular thought about and reference to a particular object requires possession of a mental store of information taken to be about that object—to explain how we could have such thoughts about abstract mathematical objects. After showing why we should want an explanation of this I argue that none of three main contemporary mental files theories of singular thought—acquaintance theory, semantic instrumentalism, and semantic cognitivism—can give (...) it. I argue for two claims intended to advance our understanding of singular thought about mathematical abstracta. First, that the conditions for possession of a file for an abstract mathematicalobject are the same as the conditions for possessing a file for an object perceived in the past—namely, that the agent retains information about the object. Thus insofar as we are able to have memory-based files for objects perceived in the past, we ought to be able to have files for abstract mathematical objects too. Second, at least one recently articulated condition on a file’s being a device for singular thought—that it be capable of surviving a certain kind of change in the information it contains—can be satisfied by files for abstract mathematical objects. (shrink)
Are mathematical objects affected by their historicity? Do they simply lose their identity and their validity in the course of history? If not, how can they always be accessible in their ideality regardless of their transmission in the course of time? Husserl and Foucault have raised this question and offered accounts, both of which, albeit different in their originality, are equally provocative. Both acknowledge that a scientific object like a geometrical theorem or a chemical equation has a history (...) because it is only constituted in and transmitted through history. But they see that history as a part of its ideality, so that, although historical, a scientific object retains its identity as one and the same object. (shrink)
The Truth problem is one of the central problems of philosophy. Nowadays, every major theory of truth that applies to formal languages utilizes devices referring to formulae. Such devices include name-forming functions. The theory of truth discussed in this paper applies to strict formal logic languages, the critique of which must, therefore, also obey mathematical rigour. This is why I have used formal logic derivations below rather than the argumentation of ordinary language.
Although there are many questions to be asked about philosophy of mathematics, the fundamental questions to be asked will be questions about what the mathematicalobject is in view of being and what the mathematical reasoning is in view of knowledge. It is clear that other problems will develop in parallel within the framework of the answers to these questions. For this rea son, when we approach Aristotle's philosophy of mathematics over these two basic problems, we come (...) up with the concept of abstraction. In our work, I will try to explain the mathematical abstraction that Aristotle has developed to understand mathematical philosophy. (shrink)
The paper investigates how the mathematical languages used to describe and to observe automatic computations influence the accuracy of the obtained results. In particular, we focus our attention on Single and Multi-tape Turing machines which are described and observed through the lens of a new mathematical language which is strongly based on three methodological ideas borrowed from Physics and applied to Mathematics, namely: the distinction between the object (we speak here about a mathematicalobject) of (...) an observation and the instrument used for this observation; interrelations holding between the object and the tool used for the observation; the accuracy of the observation determined by the tool. Results of the observation executed by the traditional and new languages are compared and discussed. (shrink)
I defend an interpretation of the first Critique’s category of totality based on Kant’s analysis of totality in the third Critique’s Analytic of the mathematical sublime. I show, firstly, that in the latter Kant delineates the category of totality — however general it may be — in relation to the essentially singular standpoint of the subject. Despite the fact that sublime and categorial totality have a significantly different scope and function, they do share such a singular baseline. Secondly, I (...) argue that Kant’s note (in the first Critique’s metaphysical deduction) that deriving the category of totality requires a special act of the understanding can be seen as a ‘mark’ of that singular baseline. This way, my aesthetical ‘detour’ has the potential of revealing how the subjective aspects of object-constitution might be accounted for in the very system of the categories (of quantity) itself. (shrink)
Analytic philosophers apply the term ‘object’ both to concreta and to abstracta of certain kinds. The theory of objects which this implies is shown to rest on a dichotomy between object-entities on the one hand and meaning-entities on the other, and it is suggested that the most adequate account of the latter is provided by Husserl’s theory of noemata. A two-story ontology of objects and meanings (concepts, classes) is defended, and Löwenheim’s work on class-representatives is cited as an (...) indication of how the need for higher types may be obviated, even in mathematical contexts. The paper concludes with a sketch of the taxonomy of the object realm which results from the above. (shrink)
Classical interpretations of Goedels formal reasoning, and of his conclusions, implicitly imply that mathematical languages are essentially incomplete, in the sense that the truth of some arithmetical propositions of any formal mathematical language, under any interpretation, is, both, non-algorithmic, and essentially unverifiable. However, a language of general, scientific, discourse, which intends to mathematically express, and unambiguously communicate, intuitive concepts that correspond to scientific investigations, cannot allow its mathematical propositions to be interpreted ambiguously. Such a language must, therefore, (...) define mathematical truth verifiably. We consider a constructive interpretation of classical, Tarskian, truth, and of Goedel's reasoning, under which any formal system of Peano Arithmetic---classically accepted as the foundation of all our mathematical Languages---is verifiably complete in the above sense. We show how some paradoxical concepts of Quantum mechanics can, then, be expressed, and interpreted, naturally under a constructive definition of mathematical truth. (shrink)
In this essay I will defend three points, the first being that Descartes- unlike the aristotelian traditon- maintained that abstraction is not a operation in which the intellect builds the mathematicalobject resorting to sensible ob- jects. Secondly I will demonstrate that, according to cartesian philosophy, the faculty of understanding has the ability to instatiate- within the process of abstraction- mathematical symbols that represent the relation between quantities, whether magnitude or multitude.And finally I will advocate that the (...) lack of onthological commitment with sensible experience found in cartesian philosophy of mathematics allows for the creation of a mathematical language that regards the objects of geometry and arithmetics through a system of rules and notations, in other words, algebra. (shrink)
Dialectica: Mathematica and Physica, Truth and Justice, Trick and Life. Mathematica as the Constructive Metaphysica and Ontology. Mathematica as the constructive existential method. Сonsciousness and Mathematica: Dialectica of "eidos" and "logos". Mathematica is the Total Dialectica. The basic maternal Structure - "La Structure mère". Mathematica and Physica: loss of existential certainty. Is effectiveness of Mathematica "unreasonable"? The ontological structure of space. Axiomatization of the ontological basis of knowledge: one axiom, one principle and one mathematicalobject. The main ideas (...) and concepts of the ontological construction/ "Point with a vector germ" and "heavenly triangle". "Ordo geometricus" and "Ordo onto-topological". Architecture of the onto-topological basis of knowledge: general framework structure, carcass and foundation. The absolute space and the absolute field. The absolute (natural) system of coordinates of Universum. Eidos of "idea of ideas", the symbol and the "formula of Justice". (shrink)
The chapter explains why evolutionary genetics – a mathematical body of theory developed since the 1910s – eventually got to deal with culture: the frequency dynamics of genes like “the lactase gene” in populations cannot be correctly modeled without including social transmission. While the body of theory requires specific justifications, for example meticulous legitimations of describing culture in terms of traits, the body of theory is an immensely valuable scientific instrument, not only for its modeling power but also for (...) the amount of work that has been necessary to build, maintain, and expand it. A brief history of evolutionary genetics is told to demonstrate such patrimony, and to emphasize the importance and accumulation of statistical knowledge therein. The probabilistic nature of genotypes, phenogenotypes and population phenomena is also touched upon. Although evolutionary genetics is actually composed by distinct and partially independent traditions, the most important mathematicalobject of evolutionary genetics is the Mendelian space, and evolutionary genetics is mostly the daring study of trajectories of alleles in a population that explores that space. The ‘body’ is scientific wealth that can be invested in studying every situation that happens to turn out suitable to be modeled as a Mendelian population, or as a modified Mendelian population, or as a population of continuously varying individuals with an underlying Mendelian basis. Mathematical tinkering and justification are two halves of the mutual adjustment between the body of theory and the new domain of culture. Some works in current literature overstate justification, misrepresenting the relationship between body of theory and domain, and hindering interdisciplinary dialogue. (shrink)
A dialogue arguing that morality has an objective basis in the mathematicalobject describing the "tit for tat" game theory. To play the game, a contractual obligation is freely made to cooperate and to fairly distribute the gains. Failure to meet these obligations results in social punishment.
The epistemic probability of A given B is the degree to which B evidentially supports A, or makes A plausible. This paper is a first step in answering the question of what determines the values of epistemic probabilities. I break this question into two parts: the structural question and the substantive question. Just as an object’s weight is determined by its mass and gravitational acceleration, some probabilities are determined by other, more basic ones. The structural question asks what probabilities (...) are not determined in this way—these are the basic probabilities which determine values for all other probabilities. The substantive question asks how the values of these basic probabilities are determined. I defend an answer to the structural question on which basic probabilities are the probabilities of atomic propositions conditional on potential direct explanations. I defend this against the view, implicit in orthodox mathematical treatments of probability, that basic probabilities are the unconditional probabilities of complete worlds. I then apply my answer to the structural question to clear up common confusions in expositions of Bayesianism and shed light on the “problem of the priors.”. (shrink)
Is the self narratively constructed? There are many who would answer yes to the question. Dennett (1991) is, perhaps, the most famous proponent of the view that the self is narratively constructed, but there are others, such as Velleman (2006), who have followed his lead and developed the view much further. Indeed, the importance of narrative to understanding the mind and the self is currently being lavished with attention across the cognitive sciences (Dautenhahn, 2001; Hutto, 2007; Nelson, 2003). Emerging from (...) this work, there appear to be a variety of ways in which we can think of the narrative construction of the self and the relationship between the narrative self and the embodied agent. I wish to examine two such ways in this paper. The first I shall call the abstract narrative account, this is because its proponents take the narrative self to be an abstraction (Dennett, 1991; Velleman, 2006). Dennett, for example, refers to the self as a centre of narrative gravity, to be thought of as analogous to a mathematical conception of the centre of gravity of an object. The second I shall call the embodied narrative account and this is the view that the self is constituted both by an embodied consciousness whose experiences are available for narration and narratives themselves, which can play a variety of roles in the agent’s psychological life. (shrink)
Awareness is a two-place determinable relation some determinates of which are seeing, hearing, etc. Abstract objects are items such as universals and functions, which contrast with concrete objects such as solids and liquids. It is uncontroversial that we are sometimes aware of concrete objects. In this paper I explore the more controversial topic of awareness of abstract objects. I distinguish two questions. First, the Existence Question: are there any experiences that make their subjects aware of abstract objects? Second, the Grounding (...) Question: if an experience makes its subject aware of an abstract object, in virtue of what does it do so? I defend the view that intuitions, specifically mathematical intuitions, sometimes make their subjects aware of abstract objects. In defending this view, I develop an account of the ground of intuitive awareness. (shrink)
Gareth Evans has argued that the existence of vague objects is logically precluded: The assumption that it is indeterminate whether some object a is identical to some object b leads to contradiction. I argue in reply that, although this is true—I thus defend Evans's argument, as he presents it—the existence of vague objects is not thereby precluded. An 'Indefinitist' need only hold that it is not logically required that every identity statement must have a determinate truth-value, not that (...) some such statements might actually fail to have a determinate truth-value. That makes Indefinitism a cousin of mathematical Intuitionism. (shrink)
The theories of belief change developed within the AGM-tradition are not logics in the proper sense, but rather informal axiomatic theories of belief change. Instead of characterizing the models of belief and belief change in a formalized object language, the AGM-approach uses a natural language — ordinary mathematical English — to characterize the mathematical structures that are under study. Recently, however, various authors such as Johan van Benthem and Maarten de Rijke have suggested representing doxastic change within (...) a formal logical language: a dynamic modal logic. Inspired by these suggestions Krister Segerberg has developed a very general logical framework for reasoning about doxastic change: dynamic doxastic logic (DDL). This framework may be seen as an extension of standard Hintikka-style doxastic logic with dynamic operators representing various kinds of transformations of the agent's doxastic state. Basic DDL describes an agent that has opinions about the external world and an ability to change these opinions in the light of new information. Such an agent is non-introspective in the sense that he lacks opinions about his own belief states. Here we are going to discuss various possibilities for developing a dynamic doxastic logic for introspective agents: full DDL or DDL unlimited. The project of constructing such a logic is faced with difficulties due to the fact that the agent’s own doxastic state now becomes a part of the reality that he is trying to explore: when an introspective agent learns more about the world, then the reality he holds beliefs about undergoes a change. But then his introspective (higher-order) beliefs have to be adjusted accordingly. In the paper we shall consider various ways of solving this problem. (shrink)
The Marburg neo-Kantians argue that Hermann von Helmholtz's empiricist account of the a priori does not account for certain knowledge, since it is based on a psychological phenomenon, trust in the regularities of nature. They argue that Helmholtz's account raises the 'problem of validity' (Gueltigkeitsproblem): how to establish a warranted claim that observed regularities are based on actual relations. I reconstruct Heinrich Hertz's and Ludwig Wittgenstein's Bild theoretic answer to the problem of validity: that scientists and philosophers can depict the (...) necessary a priori constraints on states of affairs in a given system, and can establish whether these relations are actual relations in nature. The analysis of necessity within a system is a lasting contribution of the Bild theory. However, Hertz and Wittgenstein argue that the logical and mathematical sentences of a Bild are rules, tools for constructing relations, and the rules themselves are meaningless outside the theory. Carnap revises the argument for validity by attempting to give semantic rules for translation between frameworks. Russell and Quine object that pragmatics better accounts for the role of a priori reasoning in translating between frameworks. The conclusion of the tale, then, is a partial vindication of Helmholtz's original account. (shrink)
Abstract: We propose a dichotomy between object-entities and meaning-entities. The former are entities such as molecules, cells, organisms, organizations, numbers, shapes, and so forth. The latter are entities such as concepts, propositions, and theories belonging to the realm of logic. Frege distinguished analogously between a ‘realm of reference’ and a ‘realm of sense’, which he presented in some passages as mutually exclusive. This however contradicts his assumption elsewhere that every entity is a referent (even Fregean senses can be referred (...) to by means of suitably constructed expressions). We apply the meaning/object dichotomy to mathematical and fictional entities, and develop a view of mathematical and other abstract objects as the results of certain types of demarcation – as for example the North Sea is the result of demarcations built into naval charts. Such demarcations reflect demarcatory acts, which presuppose complex cognitive and social structures enabling the creation of maps, of theories (of mathematics, of natural science), and of novels. (shrink)
Notions such as Sunyata, Catuskoti, and Indra's Net, which figure prominently in Buddhist philosophy, are difficult to readily accommodate within our ordinary thinking about everyday objects. Famous Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna considered two levels of reality: one called conventional reality and the other ultimate reality. Within this framework, Sunyata refers to the claim that at the ultimate level objects are devoid of essence or "intrinsic properties", but are interdependent by virtue of their relations to other objects. Catuskoti refers to the claim (...) that four truth values, along with contradiction, are admissible in reasoning. Indra's Net refers to the claim that every part of a whole is reflective of the whole. Here we present category theoretic constructions which are reminiscent of these Buddhist concepts. The universal mapping property definition of mathematical objects, wherein objects of a universe of discourse are defined not in terms of their content, but in terms of their relations to all objects of the universe is reminiscent of Sunyata. The objective logic of perception, with perception modeled as [a category of] two sequential processes (sensation followed by interpretation), and with its truth value object of four truth values, is reminiscent of the Buddhist logic of Catuskoti. The category of categories, wherein every category has a subcategory of sets with zero structure within which every category can be modeled, is reminiscent of Indra's Net. Our thorough elaboration of the parallels between Buddhist philosophy and category theory can facilitate better understanding of Buddhist philosophy, and bring out the broader philosophical import of category theory beyond mathematics. (shrink)
ABSTRACT. May scientists rely on substantive, a priori presuppositions? Quinean naturalists say "no," but Michael Friedman and others claim that such a view cannot be squared with the actual history of science. To make his case, Friedman offers Newton's universal law of gravitation and Einstein's theory of relativity as examples of admired theories that both employ presuppositions (usually of a mathematical nature), presuppositions that do not face empirical evidence directly. In fact, Friedman claims that the use of such presuppositions (...) is a hallmark of "science as we know it." But what should we say about the special sciences, which typically do not rely on the abstruse formalisms one finds in the exact sciences? I identify a type of a priori presupposition that plays an especially striking role in the development of empirical psychology. These are ontological presuppositions about the type of object a given science purports to study. I show how such presuppositions can be both a priori and rational by investigating their role in an early flap over psychology's contested status as a natural science. The flap focused on one of the field's earliest textbooks, William James's Principles of Psychology. The work was attacked precisely for its reliance on a priori presuppositions about what James had called the "mental state," psychology's (alleged) proper object. I argue that the specific presuppositions James packed into his definition of the "mental state" were not directly responsible to empirical evidence, and so in that sense were a priori; but the presuppositions were rational in that they were crafted to help overcome philosophical objections (championed by neo-Hegelians) to the very idea that there can be a genuine science of mind. Thus, my case study gives an example of substantive, a priori presuppositions being put to use—to rational use—in the special sciences. In addition to evaluating James's use of presuppositions, my paper also offers historical reflections on two different strands of pragmatist philosophy of science. One strand, tracing back through Quine to C. S. Peirce, is more naturalistic, eschewing the use of a priori elements in science. The other strand, tracing back through Kuhn and C. I. Lewis to James, is more friendly to such presuppositions, and to that extent bears affinity with the positivist tradition Friedman occupies. (shrink)
Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by (...) natural laws. Therefore mathematics is viewed not only as an appropriate tool to investigate human language and genetic code structures through computer sciencebased formal language theory but is itself a depiction of material reality. This confusion between language as a scientific tool to describe observations/experiences within cognitive constructed models and formal language as a direct depiction of material reality occurs not only in current approaches but was the central focus of the philosophy of science debate in the twentieth century, with rather unexpected results. This article recalls these results and their implications for more recent mathematical approaches that also attempt to explain the evolution of human language. (shrink)
Jakob Friedrich Fries (1773-1843): A Philosophy of the Exact Sciences -/- Shortened version of the article of the same name in: Tabula Rasa. Jenenser magazine for critical thinking. 6th of November 1994 edition -/- 1. Biography -/- Jakob Friedrich Fries was born on the 23rd of August, 1773 in Barby on the Elbe. Because Fries' father had little time, on account of his journeying, he gave up both his sons, of whom Jakob Friedrich was the elder, to the Herrnhut Teaching (...) Institution in Niesky in 1778. Fries attended the theological seminar in Niesky in autumn 1792, which lasted for three years. There he (secretly) began to study Kant. The reading of Kant's works led Fries, for the first time, to a deep philosophical satisfaction. His enthusiasm for Kant is to be understood against the background that a considerable measure of Kant's philosophy is based on a firm foundation of what happens in an analogous and similar manner in mathematics. -/- During this period he also read Heinrich Jacobi's novels, as well as works of the awakening classic German literature; in particular Friedrich Schiller's works. In 1795, Fries arrived at Leipzig University to study law. During his time in Leipzig he became acquainted with Fichte's philosophy. In autumn of the same year he moved to Jena to hear Fichte at first hand, but was soon disappointed. -/- During his first sojourn in Jenaer (1796), Fries got to know the chemist A. N. Scherer who was very influenced by the work of the chemist A. L. Lavoisier. Fries discovered, at Scherer's suggestion, the law of stoichiometric composition. Because he felt that his work still need some time before completion, he withdrew as a private tutor to Zofingen (in Switzerland). There Fries worked on his main critical work, and studied Newton's "Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica". He remained a lifelong admirer of Newton, whom he praised as a perfectionist of astronomy. Fries saw the final aim of his mathematical natural philosophy in the union of Newton's Principia with Kant's philosophy. -/- With the aim of qualifying as a lecturer, he returned to Jena in 1800. Now Fries was known from his independent writings, such as "Reinhold, Fichte and Schelling" (1st edition in 1803), and "Systems of Philosophy as an Evident Science" (1804). The relationship between G. W. F. Hegel and Fries did not develop favourably. Hegel speaks of "the leader of the superficial army", and at other places he expresses: "he is an extremely narrow-minded bragger". On the other hand, Fries also has an unfavourable take on Hegel. He writes of the "Redundancy of the Hegelistic dialectic" (1828). In his History of Philosophy (1837/40) he writes of Hegel, amongst other things: "Your way of philosophising seems just to give expression to nonsense in the shortest possible way". In this work, Fries appears to argue with Hegel in an objective manner, and expresses a positive attitude to his work. -/- In 1805, Fries was appointed professor for philosophy in Heidelberg. In his time spent in Heidelberg, he married Caroline Erdmann. He also sealed his friendships with W. M. L. de Wette and F. H. Jacobi. Jacobi was amongst the contemporaries who most impressed Fries during this period. In Heidelberg, Fries wrote, amongst other things, his three-volume main work New Critique of Reason (1807). -/- In 1816 Fries returned to Jena. When in 1817 the Wartburg festival took place, Fries was among the guests, and made a small speech. 1819 was the so-called "Great Year" for Fries: His wife Caroline died, and Karl Sand, a member of a student fraternity, and one of Fries' former students stabbed the author August von Kotzebue to death. Fries was punished with a philosophy teaching ban but still received a professorship for physics and mathematics. Only after a period of years, and under restrictions, he was again allowed to read philosophy. From now on, Fries was excluded from political influence. The rest of his life he devoted himself once again to philosophical and natural studies. During this period, he wrote "Mathematical Natural Philosophy" (1822) and the "History of Philosophy" (1837/40). -/- Fries suffered from a stroke on New Year's Day 1843, and a second stroke, on the 10th of August 1843 ended his life. -/- 2. Fries' Work Fries left an extensive body of work. A look at the subject areas he worked on makes us aware of the universality of his thinking. Amongst these subjects are: Psychic anthropology, psychology, pure philosophy, logic, metaphysics, ethics, politics, religious philosophy, aesthetics, natural philosophy, mathematics, physics and medical subjects, to which, e.g., the text "Regarding the optical centre in the eye together with general remarks about the theory of seeing" (1839) bear witness. With popular philosophical writings like the novel "Julius and Evagoras" (1822), or the arabesque "Longing, and a Trip to the Middle of Nowhere" (1820), he tried to make his philosophy accessible to a broader public. Anthropological considerations are shown in the methodical basis of his philosophy, and to this end, he provides the following didactic instruction for the study of his work: "If somebody wishes to study philosophy on the basis of this guide, I would recommend that after studying natural philosophy, a strict study of logic should follow in order to peruse metaphysics and its applied teachings more rapidly, followed by a strict study of criticism, followed once again by a return to an even closer study of metaphysics and its applied teachings." -/- 3. Continuation of Fries' work through the Friesian School -/- Fries' ideas found general acceptance amongst scientists and mathematicians. A large part of the followers of the "Fries School of Thought" had a scientific or mathematical background. Amongst them were biologist Matthias Jakob Schleiden, mathematics and science specialist philosopher Ernst Friedrich Apelt, the zoologist Oscar Schmidt, and the mathematician Oscar Xavier Schlömilch. Between the years 1847 and 1849, the treatises of the "Fries School of Thought", with which the publishers aimed to pursue philosophy according to the model of the natural sciences appeared. In the Kant-Fries philosophy, they saw the realisation of this ideal. The history of the "New Fries School of Thought" began in 1903. It was in this year that the philosopher Leonard Nelson gathered together a small discussion circle in Goettingen. Amongst the founding members of this circle were: A. Rüstow, C. Brinkmann and H. Goesch. In 1904 L. Nelson, A. Rüstow, H. Goesch and the student W. Mecklenburg travelled to Thuringia to find the missing Fries writings. In the same year, G. Hessenberg, K. Kaiser and Nelson published the first pamphlet from their first volume of the "Treatises of the Fries School of Thought, New Edition". -/- The school set out with the aim of searching for the missing Fries' texts, and re-publishing them with a view to re-opening discussion of Fries' brand of philosophy. The members of the circle met regularly for discussions. Additionally, larger conferences took place, mostly during the holidays. Featuring as speakers were: Otto Apelt, Otto Berg, Paul Bernays, G. Fraenkel, K. Grelling, G. Hessenberg, A. Kronfeld, O. Meyerhof, L. Nelson and R. Otto. On the 1st of March 1913, the Jakob-Friedrich-Fries society was founded. Whilst the Fries' school of thought dealt in continuum with the advancement of the Kant-Fries philosophy, the members of the Jakob-Friedrich-Fries society's main task was the dissemination of the Fries' school publications. In May/June, 1914, the organisations took part in their last common conference before the gulf created by the outbreak of the First World War. Several members died during the war. Others returned disabled. The next conference took place in 1919. A second conference followed in 1921. Nevertheless, such intensive work as had been undertaken between 1903 and 1914 was no longer possible. -/- Leonard Nelson died in October 1927. In the 1930's, the 6th and final volume of "Treatises of the Fries School of Thought, New Edition" was published. Franz Oppenheimer, Otto Meyerhof, Minna Specht and Grete Hermann were involved in their publication. -/- 4. About Mathematical Natural Philosophy -/- In 1822, Fries' "Mathematical Natural Philosophy" appeared. Fries rejects the speculative natural philosophy of his time - above all Schelling's natural philosophy. A natural study, founded on speculative philosophy, ceases with its collection, arrangement and order of well-known facts. Only a mathematical natural philosophy can deliver the necessary explanatory reasoning. The basic dictum of his mathematical natural philosophy is: "All natural theories must be definable using purely mathematically determinable reasons of explanation." Fries is of the opinion that science can attain completeness only by the subordination of the empirical facts to the metaphysical categories and mathematical laws. -/- The crux of Fries' natural philosophy is the thought that mathematics must be made fertile for use by the natural sciences. However, pure mathematics displays solely empty abstraction. To be able to apply them to the sensory world, an intermediatory connection is required. Mathematics must be connected to metaphysics. The pure mechanics, consisting of three parts are these: a) A study of geometrical movement, which considers solely the direction of the movement, b) A study of kinematics, which considers velocity in Addition, c) A study of dynamic movement, which also incorporates mass and power, as well as direction and velocity. -/- Of great interest is Fries' natural philosophy in view of its methodology, particularly with regard to the doctrine "leading maxims". Fries calls these "leading maxims" "heuristic", "because they are principal rules for scientific invention". -/- Fries' philosophy found great recognition with Carl Friedrich Gauss, amongst others. Fries asked for Gauss's opinion on his work "An Attempt at a Criticism based on the Principles of the Probability Calculus" (1842). Gauss also provided his opinions on "Mathematical Natural Philosophy" (1822) and on Fries' "History of Philosophy". Gauss acknowledged Fries' philosophy and wrote in a letter to Fries: "I have always had a great predilection for philosophical speculation, and now I am all the more happy to have a reliable teacher in you in the study of the destinies of science, from the most ancient up to the latest times, as I have not always found the desired satisfaction in my own reading of the writings of some of the philosophers. In particular, the writings of several famous (maybe better, so-called famous) philosophers who have appeared since Kant have reminded me of the sieve of a goat-milker, or to use a modern image instead of an old-fashioned one, of Münchhausen's plait, with which he pulled himself from out of the water. These amateurs would not dare make such a confession before their Masters; it would not happen were they were to consider the case upon its merits. I have often regretted not living in your locality, so as to be able to glean much pleasurable entertainment from philosophical verbal discourse." -/- The starting point of the new adoption of Fries was Nelson's article "The critical method and the relation of psychology to philosophy" (1904). Nelson dedicates special attention to Fries' re-interpretation of Kant's deduction concept. Fries awards Kant's criticism the rationale of anthropological idiom, in that he is guided by the idea that one can examine in a psychological way which knowledge we have "a priori", and how this is created, so that we can therefore recognise our own knowledge "a priori" in an empirical way. Fries understands deduction to mean an "awareness residing darkly in us is, and only open to basic metaphysical principles through conscious reflection.". -/- Nelson has pointed to an analogy between Fries' deduction and modern metamathematics. In the same manner, as with the anthropological deduction of the content of the critical investigation into the metaphysical object show, the content of mathematics become, in David Hilbert's view, the object of metamathematics. -/-. (shrink)
The paper aims to establish if Grassmann’s notion of an extensive form involved an epistemological change in the understanding of geometry and of mathematical knowledge. Firstly, it will examine if an ontological shift in geometry is determined by the vectorial representation of extended magnitudes. Giving up homogeneity, and considering geometry as an application of extension theory, Grassmann developed a different notion of a geometrical object, based on abstract constraints concerning the construction of forms rather than on the homogeneity (...) conditions required by the modern version of the theory of proportions. Secondly, Grassmann’s conception of mathematical knowledge will be investigated. Parting from the traditional definition of mathematics as a science of magnitudes, Grassmann considered mathematical forms as particulars rather than universals: the classification of the branches of mathematics was thus based on different operational rules, rather than on empirical criteria of abstraction or on the distinction of different species belonging to a common genus. It will be argued that a different notion of generalization is thus involved, and that the knowledge of mathematical forms relies on the understanding of the rules of generation of the forms themselves. Finally, the paper will analyse if Grassmann’s approach in the first edition of the Ausdehnungslehre should be explained in terms of the notion of purity of method, and if it clashes with Grassmann’s later conventionalism. Although in the second edition the features of the operations are chosen by convention, as it is the case for the anti-commutative property of the multiplication, the choice is oriented by our understanding of the resulting forms: a simplification in the algebraic calculus need not correspond to a simplification in the ‘dimensional’ interpretation of the result of the multiplicative operation. (shrink)
In this paper I argue, based on a comparison of Spinoza's and Descartes‟s discussion of error, that beliefs are affirmations of the content of imagination that is not false in itself, only in relation to the object. This interpretation is an improvement both on the winning ideas reading and on the interpretation reading of beliefs. Contrary to the winning ideas reading it is able to explain belief revision concerning the same representation. Also, it does not need the assumption that (...) I misinterpret my otherwise correct ideas as the interpretation reading would have it. In the first section I will provide a brief overview of the notion of inherence and its role in Spinoza‟s discussion of the status of finite minds. Then by examining the relation between Spinoza‟s and Descartes‟ distinction of representations and attitudes, I show that affirmation can be identified with beliefs in Spinoza. Next, I will take a closer look at the identification of intellect and will and argue that Spinoza's identification of the two is based on the fact that Spinoza sees both as the active aspect of the mind. After that, I analyze Spinoza‟s comments on the different scopes of will and intellect, and argue that beliefs are affirmations of the imaginative content of the idea. Finally, through Spinoza‟s example of the utterance of mathematical error, I present my solution to the problem of inherence of false beliefs. (shrink)
The paper has three objectives: to expound a set-theoretical triplet model of concepts; to introduce some triplet relations (symbolic, logical, and mathematical formalization; equivalence, intersection, disjointness) between object concepts, and to instantiate them by relations between certain physical object concepts.
Corcoran, J. 2005. Counterexamples and proexamples. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 11(2005) 460. -/- John Corcoran, Counterexamples and Proexamples. Philosophy, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260-4150 E-mail: corcoran@buffalo.edu Every perfect number that is not even is a counterexample for the universal proposition that every perfect number is even. Conversely, every counterexample for the proposition “every perfect number is even” is a perfect number that is not even. Every perfect number that is odd is a proexample for the existential proposition that some (...) perfect number is odd. Conversely, every proexample for the proposition “some perfect number is odd” is a perfect number that is odd. As trivial these remarks may seem, they can not be taken for granted, even in mathematical and logical texts designed to introduce their respective subjects. One well-reviewed book on counterexamples in analysis says that in order to demonstrate that a universal proposition is false it is necessary and sufficient to construct a counterexample. It is easy to see that it is not necessary to construct a counterexample to demonstrate that the proposition “every true proposition is known to be true” is false–necessity fails. Moreover the mere construction of an object that happens to be a counterexample does not by itself demonstrate that it is a counterexample–sufficiency fails. In order to demonstrate that a universal proposition is false it is neither necessary nor sufficient to construct a counterexample. Likewise, of course, in order to demonstrate that an existential proposition is true it is neither necessary nor sufficient to construct a proexample. This article defines the above relational concepts of counterexample and of proexample, it discusses their surprising history and philosophy, it gives many examples of uses of these and related concepts in the literature and it discusses some of the many errors that have been made as a result of overlooking the challenging subtlety of the proper use of these two basic and indispensable concepts. (shrink)
The Mind-Body Problem is a by-product of subjective consciousness, i.e. of the self-reference of an awareness system. Given the possibility of a subjective frame placed around the contents of consciousness, and given also the reifying tendency of mind, the rift between subject and object is an inevitable artifact of human consciousness. The closest we can come to a solution is an understanding of the exact nature and situation of the embodied subject. Ontological solutions, such as materialism and idealism, are (...) excluded as part of the problem. Reification is examined as the fundamental movement of mind. Subjectified consciousness is a meta-system whose evolutionary role is to counterbalance the natural realism of mind. The Mind-Body Problem is the contradiction between these natural viewpoints. The intentionality of mind is likened to that of an "interpreted" formal system. The nature of experienced qualia is the same as that of the intentionally created meanings of words or mathematical symbols. The concept of a self who speaks this inner language is examined and rejected. There is a rapprochement between spiritual idealism and scientific materialism in regard to the nature, not only of the object, but also of the subject or self and its potential freedom. (shrink)
Architecture often relies on mathematical models, if only to anticipate the physical behavior of structures. Accordingly, mathematical modeling serves to find an optimal form given certain constraints, constraints themselves translated into a language which must be homogeneous to that of the model in order for resolution to be possible. Traditional modeling tied to design and architecture thus appears linked to a topdown vision of creation, of the modernist, voluntarist and uniformly normative type, because usually (mono)functionalist. One available instrument (...) of calculation/representation/prescription orders this conception of architecture: indeed the search for an optimal solution through mathematical calculation of a model itself mathematical, thus homogeneous and simple, is only possible when one or two functions or functional constraints are formulated, never more, and this, on a global level, therefore starting from a unique and homogenizing viewpoint. It is essential to grasp that, even applied to material and its properties or towards a particular esthetic or functional dimension, this viewpoint is thus abstractive and generalizing: disregarding singularity of context, insertion and a relationship to the environment or local, social behavior. It leaves aside functional specificity and heterogeneousness – re-contextualized each time – of functions that the object or edifice are required to fulfill and optimize under diverse constraints, in their different parts. The computational turning point today’s digital design and computational architecture embody modifies these instrumental, original prescriptions, rendering them more flexible. Perhaps in light of this turnabout we should retrospectively interpret 20th century calls for modernism, functionalism and even biomorphism as being just as many rationalizations a posteriori in respect to techniques of strongly prescriptive modeling since our only instrument is a monolithic language, and so being, incites a top-down conception, (naturally weakly reactive to contexts), including forms whose overall appearance resembles in fine a living form. In order to liberate oneself from this and despite everything, emerge as its initiators, one has constructed from ideology and philosophy (of object, habitat, the urban) ex post, even while it is the instrument of modeling and conception that largely determines, normalizes and dictates ex ante, the possibilities and limitations of the creation of forms and living experiments4 in a given time. (shrink)
In his early philosophy as well as in his middle period, Wittgenstein holds a purely syntactic view of logic and mathematics. However, his syntactic foundation of logic and mathematics is opposed to the axiomatic approach of modern mathematical logic. The object of Wittgenstein’s approach is not the representation of mathematical properties within a logical axiomatic system, but their representation by a symbolism that identifies the properties in question by its syntactic features. It rests on his distinction of (...) descriptions and operations; its aim is to reduce mathematics to operations. This paper illustrates Wittgenstein’s approach by examining his discussion of irrational numbers. (shrink)
(Original French text followed by English version.) For Berkeley, mathematical and scientific issues and concepts are always conditioned by epistemological, metaphysical, and theological considerations. For Berkeley to think of any thing--whether it be a geometrical figure or a visible or tangible object--is to think of it in terms of how its limits make it intelligible. Especially in De Motu, he highlights the ways in which limit concepts (e.g., cause) mark the boundaries of science, metaphysics, theology, and morality.
Number is a major object in mathematics. Mathematics is a discipline which studies the properties of a number. The object is expressible by mathematical language, which has been devised more rigorously than natural language. However, the language is not thoroughly free from natural language. Countability of natural number is also originated from natural language. It is necessary to understand how language leads a number into mathematics, its’ main playground.
This paper is essentially a quantum philosophical challenge: starting from simple assumptions, we argue about an ontological approach to quantum mechanics. In this paper, we will focus only on the assumptions. While these assumptions seems to solve the ontological aspect of theory many others epistemological problems arise. For these reasons, in order to prove these assumptions, we need to find a consistent mathematical context (i.e. time reverse problem, quantum entanglement, implications on quantum fields, Schr¨odinger cat states, the role of (...) observer, the role of mind ). (shrink)
Since the 1960s, Kripke has been a central figure in several fields related to mathematical logic, language philosophy, mathematical philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology and set theory. He had influential and original contributions to logic, especially modal logic, and analytical philosophy, with a semantics of modal logic involving possible worlds, now called Kripke semantics. In Naming and Necessity, Kripke proposed a causal theory of reference, according to which a name refers to an object by virtue of a causal connection (...) with the object, mediated by the communities of speakers. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.26557.20964. (shrink)
Objective. Conceptualization of the definition of space as a semantic unit of language consciousness. -/- Materials & Methods. A structural-ontological approach is used in the work, the methodology of which has been tested and applied in order to analyze the subject matter area of psychology, psycholinguistics and other social sciences, as well as in interdisciplinary studies of complex systems. Mathematical representations of space as a set of parallel series of events (Alexandrov) were used as the initial theoretical basis of (...) the structural-ontological analysis. In this case, understanding of an event was considered in the context of the definition adopted in computer science – a change in the object properties registered by the observer. -/- Results. The negative nature of space realizes itself in the subject-object structure, the components interaction of which is characterized by a change – a key property of the system under study. Observer’s registration of changes is accompanied by spatial focusing (situational concretization of the field of changes) and relating of its results with the field of potentially distinguishable changes (subjective knowledge about «changing world»). The indicated correlation performs the function of space identification in terms of recognizing its properties and their subjective significance, depending on the features of the observer`s motivational sphere. As a result, the correction of the actual affective dynamics of the observer is carried out, which structures the current perception of space according to principle of the semantic fractal. Fractalization is a formation of such a subjective perception of space, which supposes the establishment of semantic accordance between the situational field of changes, on the one hand, and the worldview, as well as the motivational characteristics of the observer, on the other. -/- Conclusions. Performed structural-ontological analysis of the system formed by the interaction of the perceptual function of the psyche and the semantic field of the language made it possible to conceptualize the space as a field of changes potentially distinguishable by the observer, structurally organized according to the principle of the semantic fractal. The compositional features of the fractalization process consist in fact that the semantic fractal of space is relevant to the product of the difference between the situational field of changes and the field of potentially distinguishable changes, adjusted by the current configuration of the observer`s value-needs hierarchy and reduced by his actual affective dynamics. (shrink)
It is a well-known fact that mathematics plays a crucial role in physics; in fact, it is virtually impossible to imagine contemporary physics without it. But it is questionable whether mathematical concepts could ever play such a role in psychology or philosophy. In this paper, we set out to examine a rather unobvious example of the application of topology, in the form of the theory of persons proposed by Kurt Lewin in his Principles of Topological Psychology. Our aim is (...) to show that this branch of mathematics can furnish a natural conceptual system for Gestalt psychology, in that it provides effective tools for describing global qualitative aspects of the latter’s object of investigation. We distinguish three possible ways in which mathematics can contribute to this: explanation, explication and metaphor. We hold that all three of these can be usefully characterized as throwing light on their subject matter, and argue that in each case this contrasts with the role of explanations in physics. Mathematics itself, we argue, provides something different from such explanations when applied in the field of psychology, and this is nevertheless still cognitively fruitful. (shrink)
This chapter elaborates and develops the thesis originally put forward by Mary Morgan (2005) that some mathematical models may surprise us, but that none of them can completely confound us, i.e. let us unable to produce an ex post theoretical understanding of the outcome of the model calculations. This chapter intends to object and demonstrate that what is certainly true of classical mathematical models is however not true of pluri-formalized simulations with multiple axiomatic bases. This chapter thus (...) proposes to show that - and why - some of these computational simulations that are now booming in the sciences not only surprise us but also confound us. To do so, it shows too that it is needed to elaborate and articulate with some new precision the concept of weak emergence initially due, for its part, to Mark A. Bedau (1997). (shrink)
This paper discuss the problem of motion within sense-data concept. Using the sense of speed as starting-point, we debate how it is possible to find a conceptual formulation that combines the idea of mental states with its physicalist criticism. The answer lies in the field of quantum mechanics and its concept of tensor, a geometric object that has a mathematical matrix representation. Thinking about examples taken from the car racing world, where the sense of speed is preponderant, we (...) see how the mental condition of speed is represented matrix-like, tensor-like, rather than ephemerally as the more traditional sense-data formulation advocates. (shrink)
This paper responds to recent developments in the field of sensory augmentation by analysing several technological devices that augment the sensory apparatus using the tactile sense. First, I will define the term sensory augmentation, as the use of technological modification to enhance the sensory apparatus, and elaborate on the preconditions for successful tactile sensory augmentation. These are the adaptability of the brain to unfamiliar sensory input and the specific qualities of the skin lending themselves to be used for the perception (...) of additional sensory information. Two devices, Moon Ribas’ Seismic Sense and David Eagleman’s vest, will then be discussed as potential facilitators of aesthetic experiences in virtue of the tactile sensory augmentation that these devices allow. I will connect the experiences afforded by these devices to the Kantian categories of the mathematical and the dynamical sublime, and to existing accounts of tactile sublimity. Essentially, the objects these devices make sensible, earthquakes for the Seismic Sense and digital information for the vest, produce pleasurable feelings of potential danger, awe, and respect. The subsequent acclimation to this new way of sensing and the aim to comprehend its sensed object are then discussed as possible objections to the interpretation of these experiences as sublime, and as aesthetic in general. To exemplify these issues and concretise my thesis of tactile sensory augmentation as a trigger of the sublime, I will outline an experiment to use the vest as an aid for faster decision making on the stock market. (shrink)
This paper centers on the implicit metaphysics beyond the Theory of Relativity and the Principle of Indeterminacy – two revolutionary theories that have changed 20th Century Physics – using the perspective of Husserlian Transcedental Phenomenology. Albert Einstein (1879-1955) and Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) abolished the theoretical framework of Classical (Galilean- Newtonian) physics that has been complemented, strengthened by Cartesian metaphysics. Rene Descartes (1596- 1850) introduced a separation between subject and object (as two different and self- enclosed substances) while Galileo and (...) Newton did the “mathematization” of the world. Newtonian physics, however, had an inexplicable postulate of absolute space and absolute time – a kind of geometrical framework, independent of all matter, for the explication of locality and acceleration. Thus, Cartesian modern metaphysics and Galilean- Newtonian physics go hand in hand, resulting to socio- ethical problems, materialism and environmental destruction. Einstein got rid of the Newtonian absolutes and was able to provide a new foundation for our notions of space and time: the four (4) dimensional space- time; simultaneity and the constancy of velocity of light, and the relativity of all systems of reference. Heisenberg, following the theory of quanta of Max Planck, told us of our inability to know sub- atomic phenomena and thus, blurring the line between the Cartesian separation of object and subject, hence, initiating the crisis of the foundations of Classical Physics. But the real crisis, according to Edmund Husserl (1859-1930) is that Modern (Classical) Science had “idealized” the world, severing nature from what he calls the Lebenswelt (life- world), the world that is simply there even before it has been reduced to mere mathematical- logical equations. Husserl thus, aims to establish a new science that returns to the “pre- scientific” and “non- mathematized” world of rich and complex phenomena: phenomena as they “appear to human consciousness”. To overcome the Cartesian equation of subject vs. object (man versus environment), Husserl brackets the external reality of Newtonian Science (epoché = to put in brackets, to suspend judgment) and emphasizes (1) the meaning of “world” different from the “world” of Classical Physics, (2) the intentionality of consciousness (L. in + tendere = to tend towards, to be essentially related to or connected to) which means that even before any scientific- logical description of the external reality, there is always a relation already between consciousness and an external reality. The world is the equiprimordial existence of consciousness and of external reality. My paper aims to look at this new science of the pre- idealized phenomena started by Husserl (a science of phenomena as they appear to conscious, human, lived experience, hence he calls it phenomenology), centering on the life- world and the intentionality of consciousness, as providing a new way of looking at ourselves and the world, in short, as providing a new metaphysics (as an antidote to Cartesian metaphysics) that grounds the revolutionary findings of Einstein and Heisenberg. The environmental destruction, technocracy, socio- ethical problems in the modern world are all rooted in this Galilean- Newtonian- Cartesian interpretation of the relationship between humans and the world after the crumbling of European Medieval Ages. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) comments that the modern world is going toward a nihilism (L. nihil = nothingness) at the turn of the century. Now, after two World Wars and the dropping of Atomic bomb, the capitalism and imperialism on the one hand, and on the other hand the poverty, hunger of the non- industrialized countries alongside destruction of nature (i.e., global warming), Nietzsche might be correct: unless humanity changes the way it looks at humanity and the kosmos. The works of Einstein, Heisenberg and Husserl seem to be pointing the way for us humans to escape nihilism by a “great existential transformation.” What these thinkers of post- modernity (after Cartesian/ Newtonian/ Galilean modernity) point to are: a) a new therapeutic way of looking at ourselves and our world (metaphysics) and b) a new and corrective notion of “rationality” (different from the objectivist, mathematico- logical way of thinking). This paper is divided into four parts: 1) A summary of Classical Physics and a short history of Quantum Theory 2) Einstein’s Special and General Relativity and Heisenberg’s Indeterminacy Principle 3) Husserl’s discussion of the Crisis of Europe, the life- world and intentionality of consciousness 4) A Metaphysics of Relativity and Indeterminacy and a Corrective notion of Rationality in Husserl’s Phenomenology . (shrink)
We propose a way to explain the diversification of branches of mathematics, distinguishing the different approaches by which mathematical objects can be studied. In our philosophy of mathematics, there is a base object, which is the abstract multiplicity that comes from our empirical experience. However, due to our human condition, the analysis of such multiplicity is covered by other empirical cognitive attitudes (approaches), diversifying the ways in which it can be conceived, and consequently giving rise to different (...) class='Hi'>mathematical disciplines. This diversity of approaches is founded on the manifold categories that we find in physical reality. We also propose, grounded on this idea, the use of Aristotelian categories as a first model for this division, generating from it a classification of mathematical branches. Finally we make a history review to show that there is consistency between our classification, and the historical appearance of the different branches of mathematics. (shrink)
In Metaphysics M.2, 1077a9-14, Aristotle appears to argue against the existence of Platonic Forms on the basis of there being certain universal mathematical proofs which are about things that are ‘beyond’ the ordinary objects of mathematics and that cannot be identified with any of these. It is a very effective argument against Platonism, because it provides a counter-example to the core Platonic idea that there are Forms in order to serve as the object of scientific knowledge: the universal (...) of which theorems of universal mathematics are proven in Greek mathematics is neither Quantity in general nor any of the specific quantities, but Quantity-of-type-x. This universal cannot be a Platonic Form, for it is dependent on the types of quantity over which the variable ranges. Since for both Plato and Aristotle the object of scientific knowledge is that F which explains why G holds, as shown in a ‘direct’ proof about an arbitrary F (they merely disagree about the ontological status of this arbitrary F, whether a Form or a particular used in so far as it is F), Plato cannot maintain that Forms must be there as objects of scientific knowledge - unless the mathematics is changed. (shrink)
In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant defends the mathematically deterministic world of physics by arguing that its essential features arise necessarily from innate forms of intuition and rules of understanding through combinatory acts of imagination. Knowing is active: it constructs the unity of nature by combining appearances in certain mandatory ways. What is mandated is that sensible awareness provide objects that conform to the structure of ostensive judgment: “This (S) is P.” -/- Sensibility alone provides no such objects, so (...) the imagination compensates by combining passing point-data into “pure” referents for the subject-position, predicate-position, and copula. The result is a cognitive encounter with a generic physical object whose characteristics—magnitude, substance, property, quality, and causality—are abstracted as the Kantian categories. Each characteristic is a product of “sensible synthesis” that has been “determined” by a “function of unity” in judgment. -/- Understanding the possibility of such determination by judgment is the chief difficulty for any rehabilitative reconstruction of Kant’s theory. I will show that Kant conceives of figurative synthesis as an act of line-drawing, and of the functions of unity as rules for attending to this act. The subject-position refers to substance, identified as the objective time-continuum; the predicate-position, to quality, identified as the continuum of property values (constituting the second-order type named by the predicate concept). The upshot is that both positions refer to continuous magnitudes, related so that one (time-value) is the condition of the other (property-value). -/- Kant’s theory of physically constructive grammar is thus equivalent to the analytic-geometric formalism at work in the practice of mathematical physics, which schematizes time and state as lines related by an algebraic formula. Kant theorizes the subject–predicate relation in ostensive judgment as an algebraic time–state function. When aimed towards sensibility, “S is P” functions as the algebraic relation “t → ƒ(t).”. (shrink)
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