FOM: Mathematical Certainty

Charles Silver csilver at
Tue Dec 15 11:29:11 EST 1998

On Fri, 11 Dec 1998, Joe Shipman wrote:

> If my statement is correct Reuben Hersh will be somewhat vindicated.

	I don't think so.  Reuben Hersh wrote of mathematical "truth", not
"certainty".  'Certainty' is a funny word because it seems sometimes to
pertain to the mental state of one who is certain and sometimes to pertain
to the thing about which one is certain.  I think you may be using it in
both senses.  Using your notion, I believe it is always *possible* for a
statement to be "mathematically certain" yet false.  But, according to H.,
agreement alone establishes its truth, because that's all that truth is. 
I think this is a very big difference.


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