FOM: SET VooDoo Re:More on Maddy on method

penelope maddy pmaddy at
Mon Feb 23 18:27:11 EST 1998

>to come to grips with that content (rather than to rather snottily -- to
>capture in a word the tone I am getting from Tennant and Maddy,  and by
>I mean using rhetoric to avoid facing up to a hard and important problem. .
>rather than waving a hand or turning up a nose to dismiss it)

I certainly had no snotty or dismissive intentions when I wrote my postings.
The question of how and why set theory manages to play the foundational role
it does seems to me very important and is not one I intended to dismiss.  I
only wanted to point out that a set theoretic foundationalist could (and
should!) admit that the branches of mathematics retain their own individual
methods (in the sense explained in my reply to Neil).  The description and
analysis of these distinctive methods also seems to me very important (as I
said in an earlier clarificatory posting to FOM) and not to be dismissed as
mere psychology (any more than the analysis of set theoretic methods is mere



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