[FOM] Arnon Avron's reply to me

John McCarthy jmc at cs.Stanford.EDU
Wed Oct 24 03:15:26 EDT 2007

I think I agree with Martin Davis that human practice of mathematics
is a human social activity and is sensitive to historical events, but
the basic facts of mathematics are independent of that.  I'd like to
be sure.

Consider Hans Freudenthal's 1960 Lincos project which proposed to
establish a common language with an alien species by sending radio
signals beginning with arithmetic examples, advancing to higher level
mathematical examples, and going on to physics and even morality.

Are the mathematical facts independent of humanity so that
Freudenthals's project might succeed?  I think yes.

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