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In reply to the discussion: Calvin on mathematics [View all]


(2,262 posts)
1. John Stuart Mill and others, said math was originally empirical
Sat Oct 29, 2016, 05:57 PM
Oct 2016

You can take two oranges, and add two more. And see there are four. We tend to forget that though, when working just with numbers in our heads.

Today it is an abstract system, that can be done entirely without empirical observation. Its a field that is very different from say, biology. Which depends hugely on looking at physical things.

So in some ways, math is very different from the sciences. And is an abstract mental system. And it is so entirely separated from worldly experience, that it feels a little monkish.

I guess we shouldn't be me so surprised to see a priest like LeMaitre, coming up with big bang theory and Hubble's constant before Hubble himself. Though Einstein said he liked his math, but complained LeMaitre's physics was terrible.

Certain phenomenology approaches could begin to re-link experience to logic, and math, I guess.

My school buddy does programming for the space station though; I guess when you see the numbers make something fly, that's a kind of empirical proof too.

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