[FOM] Three quick comments.
Bill Taylor
W.Taylor at math.canterbury.ac.nz
Mon Oct 22 23:19:54 EDT 2007
1: An enquiry to Vaughn Pratt:
I greatly enjoyed your parable of Alice, Bob, Cathy, David and Eve; however,
their concerns seemed to be mostly generated by the conflation of...
(a) what it means to be a theorem, or to be true; with
(b) what it means for us to know a statement is a theorem, or true.
What would be your response to this comment?
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There have been a lot of people prickled by the term
"normal mathematician". Perhaps the phrase was unwisely chosen.
Might I suggest "mainstream mathematician" would be less scary and emotive?
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-> Why are you bothered with certainty?
-> It seems to me that the primary focus should be on truth
Perhaps even more urgent than either of these should be a primary focus
on CLARITY. I suspect that for the next several decades, this may be our
most fruitful concern, and that polemical views about the others could wait.
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Bill Taylor W.Taylor at math.canterbury.ac.nz
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MATH: the discovery, clarification and rigorous study of
precise relationships in number, pattern, and structure.
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