FOM: naive or brainwashed?

Karlis Podnieks podnieks at
Thu Mar 19 11:10:23 EST 1998

-----Original Message-----
From: Reuben Hersh <rhersh at>
Date: 1998, March 19, 2:07
Subject: Re: FOM: naive or brainwashed?

"What determines what math is?"
Do you think this is a clearly formulated question?

KP> I would say, the correct question is: "W h o  determines
what math is?". According to my philosophy ("advanced
formalism") we can define precisely only the term
"mathematical", not the term "mathematics".  What is
mathematical theory, and what is not?  What is mathematical
model, and what is not? (My answer - see my home page or my
previous postings.) After this, we can try to define, what is
mathematics. Mathematics is a set of mathematical theories which
are considered as "first class mathematics" by the most
influential personalities of our community.

Maybe, the growing Web will change the situation.  Now people
can publish papers that are not sanctioned by "personalities".

Best wishes,
podnieks at
University of Latvia
Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science

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