[FOM] Fwd: invitation to comment (charlie)
charlie
silver_1 at mindspring.com
Wed Oct 12 22:34:58 EDT 2011
Against my permission, comments I made to three persons were excerpted and posted on FOM. I have no desire to comment on these excerpts nor to responses to them. I wish only that permission to post personal emails is first requested. I note for example that Harvey always asks permission.
On Oct 10, 2011, at 5:19 PM, Timothy Y. Chow wrote:
> Charlie Silver wrote:
>> To me, the question of whether numbers exist is really a question about
>> whether abstract entities exist (unless you can arrive at a principled
>> way to separate some abstract entities from others).
>
> There's a distinction here between whether individual numbers such as 12
> and 15 exist, and whether an infinite totality of numbers exists. I agree
> that if one doubts whether the number "12" exists then one must equally
> doubt whether the symbol "=" exists. If one doubts that an infinite
> totality of numbers exists then one must also doubt that an infinite
> totality of proofs or formulas exists.
>
> It doesn't follow, however, that doubting the existence of an infinite
> totality of proofs or formulas forces one to doubt the existence of finite
> collections of them, or of rules of inference that are tacitly understood
> to apply only if certain feasibility conditions are met.
>
> Tim
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