FOM: true but not provable

Torkel Franzen torkel at
Wed Nov 1 02:21:00 EST 2000

V. Sazonov says:

  >I am not sure that for everybody "A is true" is just A. 
  >For me "A is true" in some philosophical contexts is just 
  >nonsense. In mathematical context it really seems the same 
  >as A.

  You object to the use of mathematical statements in certain
non-mathematical contexts, and seem to regard such use as
nonsensical. The general tenor of this line of thought is perfectly
reasonable, since there are many cases in which we
will all regard statements that are perfectly meaningful in one context as
nonsensical in another. The weakness of your comments lies first in
their somewhat dogmatic character: at least, I can't find any real
argument in those comments as to why mathematical statements make no
sense in such contexts as my purported observation (1); and second, in
your apparent assumption that it is possible to learn, explain or do
mathematics without the sort of use of mathematical statements that
you regard as nonsensical. Hence my complaint that your objections are
very esoteric and have not been shown to connect with mathematics as
the subject is or can be used, learned, understood, and explained by
human beings.


  Torkel Franzen

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