[FoRK] Re: House Rules Re: The drum beat continues

James Tauber < jtauber at jtauber.com > on > Wed Nov 22 15:25:19 PST 2006

There is the platonist / positivist distinction Roger Penrose makes  
between himself and Stephen Hawking which is what I understood  
Corinna to be talking about.

Would it be better to say "physics" rather than "math". Or even just  
"science"?

James


On 23/11/2006, at 6:52 AM, Russell Turpin wrote:

> Corinna <corinna.schultz at gmail.com>:
>> This may be a crucial difference. There are people who think math  
>> is/reflects reality, and people who think math is a model of reality.
>
> And I think both views are mistaken. ;-)
>
> The natural numbers are quite good at keeping track of how many
> sheep one has, but rather less useful for telling how much the
> wind is blowing. I wouldn't say that math is a model of reality,
> but that various models of reality incorporate certain pieces of
> mathematics as part of the model. Importantly, the math is not a
> a model by itself, because the model must say how the math is
> applied. Vector calculus is not itself Newtonian physics. The
> math of Hilbert spaces is not itself quantum mechanics. Of course,
> these fields are so mathematical that understanding the math is a
> large part of understanding the model. "Large part," not "whole
> part."


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