FOM: Shipman, chess
Reuben Hersh
rhersh at math.unm.edu
Sun Jan 25 10:43:33 EST 1998
Dear Dr. Shipman,
On reflection, I have concluded that, as you thought, adding arithmetic
to the definition of math is not the answer to your criticism.
Rather, I think it is necessary to acknowledge the possibility of math-like
subjects such as chess.
Demarcating chess from math, I think, is best left to chess sharks like you.
So I would now say that reproducibility (consistency) and
high consensus serve to distinguish math and math-like subjects from other
humanistic studies.
I repeat, this is not to claim that this suggestion is anything like
a complete or conclusive account of mathematics.
Again, I recommend the Nature of Mathematical Knowledge, Philip Kitcher,
as an impressive attack on that problem, from the naturalist or
empiricist point of view.
All the best,
Reuben Hersh
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