[FOM] Mathematical explanation
mjmurphy
4mjmu at rogers.com
Mon Oct 24 15:27:36 EDT 2005
>
> Well, here's a position that has at least the beneifit of clarity and
> brevity:
>
> No explanations without counterfactuals
> No counterfactuals without contingency
> All of Mathematics is necessary
> ------------------------------
> No explanations in mathematics!
>
>
> I'm not saying i believe it, but finding the right place to pick holes
> might be a useful discipline.
----
Well, I wonder about the third premise. Is mathematics necessary? For
example, there is an example of Searle's (borrowed from Wittgenstein, but I
don't quite know where). The example involves the mathematical proposition
3 + 4. Imagine two overlapping circles, A and B. A contains three dots, B
four. However, two of the dots fall into the area where A and B overlap.
Here, Searle and LW contend, A + B = 5. Searle uses this to entertain the
possibility that the statements of mathematics are context dependent, which
I assume means contingent.
Cheers,
M.J.Murphy
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