FOM: Goedel: truth and misinterpretations

Matt Insall montez at
Thu Nov 2 16:26:19 EST 2000

Professor Kanovei,
Your introduction of unicorns into the discussion seems to me to be the 
empiricists' attack on anything not determined only empirically.  Your latest
statement was

Theoretically it is perfectly possible that unicorns exist
although will never be found, which would make it unlikely that no
generally convincing existence proof for unicorns can be given,
to everybody's general satisfaction.

Now, the fact is that it is possible that unicorns exist and no one has
recorded seeing one.  Similarly, it is possible that electrons exist.
However, your objection to the use of modal language in mathematics
and philosophy of mathematics is as unreasonable as the objection
to the use of such language in everyday life.  Have you seen an electron?
Has anyone?  How do you know they exist?  You do not.  Does that provide
you with a proof that electrons do not exist?  No.  Does all the experimenting
in the world provide you with a proof that electrons exist?  No.  What is your
point?  I believe electrons exist and unicorns do not.  I am willing to be 
otherwise, because I do not have a proof either way in either case.  Why 
are you
so belligerent about it and dogmatic, without using only formal language 

Matt Insall

More information about the FOM mailing list