# FOM: Refuting Hersh by Hersh.

Soren Riis sriis at fields.fields.utoronto.ca
Sun Mar 22 20:08:35 EST 1998

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Refuting Hersh by Hersh.
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> Then if we have math being real, and we want to understand how that
> can be, we have five choices:
>
> 1) physical
> 2) mental (individual subjectivity)
> 3) social (intersubjective)
> 4) transcendental-abstract
> 5) it's a non-problem, doesn't interest  me, leave it to the
philosophers.

Let me try to get you right. Assuming the correctness of the Riemann
conjecture should we say:

(a) "It is a transcendental-abstract fact that Riemanns zeta function
have all its roots of the form z=1/2+ r im"

or rather

(b) "It is a social fact that Riemanns zeta function have all
its roots of the form z=1/2+ r im"

Now it is a social fact we would use formulation (a) rather than
formulation (b). According to your "philosophy" the question of
which of the formulations is correct must be an important
question - otherwise you would not have written a book about
it. You seems to be claiming (b) is the correct expression.
Is the problem of which formulation is the desirable a physical,
a mental, a social or a transcendental-abstract problem? In your
"philosophy" it is clearly a social problem (remark: I think there
are more urgent social problems than this).

We already use formulation (a). Take this to be a social fact.
You want to change the social practice or at least make us
acknowledge that we ought to use formulation (b). What is your
justification and reason for wanting this change? The social
overwhelming majority already disagree with you (using expression
(a)) and thus it is a social fact that you are wrong. QED.

Soren Riis

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