FOM: Disembodied souls and arithmetics
Anatoly Vorobey
mellon at pobox.com
Sun Oct 11 20:45:18 EDT 1998
You, Neil Tennant, were spotted writing this on Sun, Oct 11, 1998 at 12:37:01AM -0400:
> Just ask yourself what
> theory of arithmetic would be excogitable by a disembodied Cartesian
> soul in a universe with no physical objects in it at all. The answer
> is: exactly Peano-Dedekind arithmetic.
Can you please focus on that and explain why that answer seems so
obvious to you?
> Now could someone please
> explain how the mere presence of some physical objects could show that
> Peano-Dedekind arithmetic is somehow incorrect?
I think you are attacking a strawman here. Noone said presence
of physical objects could show the Peano-Dedekind incorrect (and
what could "incorrect" mean in this context?); only
that Peano-Dedekind arithmetic, useful as it is in itself,
may not be the appropriate generalization of our intuitive concepts
of counting physical objects.
--
Anatoly Vorobey,
mellon at pobox.com
"Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly" - G.K.Chesterton
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