FOM: mantras; postmodernism and G"odel

Stephen G Simpson simpson at
Wed Mar 24 21:40:24 EST 1999

John Mayberry and I (23 Mar 1999 13:44:36) had a little exchange about
mantras.  Pat Hayes 24 Mar 1999 11:03:41 commented:

 > As the above suggests, and as is amply confirmed by a quick perusal
 > of the philosophical content available at his web-site, Steve
 > Simpson sees his work in political/religious terms as much as
 > mathematical.

Huh?  Political/religious?  Where is there any religious material on
my web site?  There is a little bit of political material, but not in
the vicinity of the f.o.m. pages.  I am very strongly of the opinion
that epistemology and ethics are more fundamental than politics.

Are you thinking that I am a Hindu or Buddhist, just because I chant
mantras about how bad second-order logic is?

 > He has an agenda: to defend the integrity of mathematics against
 > the dark forces of postmoderism, especially those infidels who
 > misuse G"odel's name.

There is some truth to that.  I am very passionate about foundations
of mathematics.  So is Harvey, and that's why he and I started the FOM
list.  And yes, I do see f.o.m. as part of a struggle against what one
might call forces of darkness (not only postmodernists).

Part of my gripe against the postmodernists vis a vis G"odel is that
they habitually misapply his ideas with no attempt to understand his
actual achievement.  I think it's part of our job as
f.o.m. professionals to expose and combat this kind of intellectual

-- Steve

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