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Peter Punin: on 4/20/15 at 15:20pm UTC, wrote Dear LLoyd I did not intend to be ambiguous in my essay, just...

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FQXi FORUM
October 19, 2019

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: A Defense of Scientific Platonism without Metaphysical Presuppositions by Peter Martin Punin [refresh]
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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Feb. 25, 2015 @ 16:38 GMT
Essay Abstract

Abstract: From the Platonistic standpoint, mathematical edifices form an immaterial, unchanging, and eternal world, that exists independently of human thought. By extension, “scientific Platonism” says that directly mathematizable physical phenomena – in other terms, the research field of physics – are governed by entities belonging to this objectively existing mathematical world. Platonism is a metaphysical theory. But since metaphysical theories, by definition, are neither provable nor refutable, anti-Platonistic approaches cannot be less metaphysical than Platonism itself. In other words, anti-Platonism is not “more scientifical” than Platonism. All we can do is to compare Platonism and its negations under epistemological criteria such as simplicity, economy of hypotheses, or consistency with regard to their respective consequences. In this paper, I intend to show that anti-Platonism claiming in a first approximation (i) that mathematical edifices consist of meaningless signs assembled according to arbitrary rules, and (ii) that the adequacy of mathematical entities and phenomena covered by physics results from idealization of these phenomena, is based as much as Platonism on metaphysical presuppositions. Thereafter, without directly taking position, I try to launch a debate focusing on the following questions: (i) To maintain its coherence, is anti-Platonism not constrained to adopt extremely complex assumptions, difficult to defend, and not always consistent with current realities or practices of scientific knowledge? (ii) Instead of supporting anti-Platonism whatever the cost, in particular by the formulation of implausible hypotheses, would it not be more adequate to accept the idea of a mathematical world existing objectively and governing certain aspects of the material world, just as we note the existence of the material world which could also not exist?

Author Bio

Holding two french M.Phil. degrees (D.E.A), one in philosophy of physics, and another in cognitive sciences, lecturer at Pôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci and at IPECOM, Paris, France, I am focusing on mathematical Platonism and physical reversibility/irreversibility. More precisely I argue that in a material world universally subjected to irreversibility, no organized material or partially material entity could manifest/maintain itself without the intervention of essentially immaterial, eternal, and immutable principles existing objectively.

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 5, 2015 @ 17:11 GMT
Dear Mr. Joe Fisher

Fortunately, there are people who understand some mathematics and physics, specifically the minimum of mathematics and physics being required to develop and operate internet. If our humanity was reduced to your vision – math and physics are not understandable; "only reality can be understood"; I hope that this time I finally managed to assimilate your philosophy - internet probably would not exist and I would be deprived of the pleasure to receive your posts.

Best regards

P. Punin

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Gary D. Simpson replied on Mar. 5, 2015 @ 19:55 GMT
ROFL:-)

Fisher makes the same post in everyone's forum. I will certainly make an effort to read and understand your essay.

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Christophe Tournayre wrote on Mar. 5, 2015 @ 21:20 GMT
Dear Mr. Punin,

I went through your essay and I found it interesting. Some parts were too technical for me, but only because of my poor skills.

I have a question on metaphysical presuppositions. You highlight in your essay that they are propositions that we admit because they are neither provable nor refutable. Do you believe this impossibility to refute them is absolute or is it because we are unable to create perspectives on them?

I will give an example to explain my question: For the simplicity of my question, I will assume the earth does not turn around the sun.

1. If one man on earth looks at the stars, they seem fixed in the sky. They could be seen as absolute light.

2. With today technology, Hubble would look at the same star with a slight different angle and the light will be slightly different. Thanks to these two measures, today scientific are able to calculate a distance to the star. The star’s light is not absolute anymore because a perspective has been created.

Do you believe this approach could be applicable to metaphysical presuppositions? If yes, can we imagine “a distance” to presuppositions?

I hope my question is not too exotic.

Regards,

Christophe

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Mar. 5, 2015 @ 21:37 GMT
Peter,

This is a very elaborate and elegant work of formal logic. Unfortunately, I think that much of the FQXI readership will struggle with it :-) I think I understand your major point though. Taking the negation of an argument and determining what that implies is a fairly effective tool. The weakness of it is that even if something seems like nonsense, it can still be true. So without a formal proof the circularity that you reference remains.

I think that there is truth, and that both mathematics and science attempt to understand it and describe it. To the extent that they are both successful, it appears that mathematics describes science.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 6, 2015 @ 18:25 GMT
Dear Mr Tournayre

The issue you raise is highly interesting (i) There metaphysical and non-metaphysical propositions. Can we establish an exact delimitation between both types of propositions? (ii) Suppose that a proposition has in a given epistemological context a metaphysical status. Could this status change over time? I'll try to answer these questions, knowing that this field is...

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Christophe Tournayre replied on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 12:40 GMT
Thank you for your detailed response.

My essay is short, I wish I would have introduced my arguments in more details. In any case, I suggest you not to have high expectations. I am very far from what L. Brillouin or O. Costa de Beauregard could say on this topic.

Regards,

Christophe

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 6, 2015 @ 18:35 GMT
Message to Mr TOURNAYRE (suite)

Dear Mr Tournayre

It is not my style to finish a letter without a few polite words. Excuse me, I'm under time pressure.

With best regards

Peter Punin

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 6, 2015 @ 18:39 GMT
Dear Gary,

Your remark concerning circularity is absolutely adequate.

In this moment, I am terribly under time pressure, but I promis you to respond next week.

Best regards and good look also to you

Peter

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Christine Cordula Dantas wrote on Mar. 7, 2015 @ 20:04 GMT
Dear Peter,

I have just read your essay (except the technical notes; I'll go through them as time allows). An excellent text, technical, raises interesting and relevant points, and offers a nice entry to the literature (very useful for newbies in the subject like me). I need to go back to it and think about your points.

One thing that crossed my mind, apologize if it is not related to your points. I wonder which position would Cantor place himself (or would we place him, since he no longer can defend himself), given the scheme that you delineate.

He was, perhaps, a kind of "mixture" of idealist and realist, despite these being opposite concepts. He was quite certain of an independent "existence of mathematics", but not only "externally" to us, but (perhaps specially) "internally" to us at the same time. He created "his" transfinite numbers freely, even though such a creation was constructed using the previous definitions of mathematics, but was imposed on him by several issues concerning real numbers, which he was not satisfied. (Paradoxes were gradually understood and the edifice based on his concepts gradually refined and extended by others.) I suppose physicists would go at ease using reals without the need for such formalizations, but mathematicians cannot live a tranquil life while such issues are not clarified... (There is a tension here that is also mysterious, I think, but that's another question). So would you say that Cantor's position could only be justifiable by the need of various metaphysical presuppositions? Or would you place him in what position? Thanks.

Best,

Christine

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 8, 2015 @ 11:23 GMT
Dear Christine,

Your comments about Cantor are absolutely relevant. In this contest, the number of characters is limited, which is understandable. If I had had more space I would have spoken Cantor and especially the position of Hilbert and Gödel regarding the epistemologic status of transfinite numbers.

Today, I can not go further, this sunday is a hard day for me, but tomorrow, in better conditions, I will answer exhaustively.

Best regards

Peter

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Christine Cordula Dantas replied on Mar. 8, 2015 @ 13:57 GMT
Dear Peter,

No need to answer quickly or feel a pressure to do so. Any brief comments or pointers to the literature in that regard will be highly appreciated, whenever time or energy allows. It's a very interesting discussion, which I am just begining to study in more detail. Your essay has already provided me a good material to make me think for a while. I hope you have a better day and your essay receives better rating and classification.

Best,

Christine

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 10, 2015 @ 11:35 GMT
Dear Christine,

I'll finally try to answer your absolutely pertinent remarks about Cantor, but the issue is complex, and it is difficult to find the right beginning.

The double challenge is in the polysemy of both concepts of Platonism and idealism, knowing that some interpretations of these concepts can meet, and this is somewhat the case for Cantor.

The most common...

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Christine Cordula Dantas wrote on Mar. 10, 2015 @ 22:18 GMT
Dear Peter,

Thank you very much for taking the time and energy to offer again a very lucid and detailed account (considering it is a comment), and of a highly pedagogical character, which is enlightening not only with respect to my current studies but also beneficial for the readers at this section.

My question refers to the book on Cantor by Jean-Pierre Belna, where he explicitly states the difficulty to frame Cantor's philosophical position. I believe that your points complement those on that book, but I have to think further, and go back to that book as well. I do not wish to put you any pressure to discuss Hilbert and Gödel, with respect to Cantor. But feel free to post your comments as time permits, evidently they will be valuable.

By the way, do you know Cao's book "Conceptual Developments of 20th Century Field Theories" concerning "structural realism"? I read that book some years ago, and I should go back to it, and try to see conections with what has been discussed. It is a challenging book, but at least you see one of those few physicists seriously integrating philosophy and foundations.

I highly appreciate your reading of my essay, and as I commented before, yours is of great value both as a critique and pedagogical introduction to the matter, interesting and relevant.

Best wishes,

Christine

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 11, 2015 @ 19:51 GMT
Dear Gary

I try to answer your really relevant remark. My paper DOES analyze an inevitable circularity, where we just can try to do for the best.

Platonism IS a metaphysical theory, in other words a theory, that in absolute terms can neither be proved nor disproved.

But therefore all competing theories of Platonism are also metaphysical theories. If only one among all ...

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Sylvain Poirier wrote on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 07:54 GMT
Hello. After seeing many essays filled with anti-Platonistic prejudices, I tried to follow your reasoning to see if it can be taken as a good reference for a defense of Platonism, but I found it both hard to follow and in some aspects disappointing. Of course the main idea is clear and worthy, that anti-Platonism is itself a metaphysical presupposition and it has many troubles. The problem is in...

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Sylvain Poirier wrote on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 11:47 GMT
A few more details: you wrote "A valid formalization of E by Sy via Φ presupposes the consistency and completeness of Sy". What ? Theories normally need to be consistent, not complete. Moreover, Euclidean geometry is consistent and complete, so that it is possible for a theory to be consistent and complete. The point is that Euclidean geometry is unable to express arithmetic. And for the same reason, physical theories may be considered consistent and complete as far as their physical results are concerned (not making sense of arithmetical formulas which depend on the infinity of natural numbers, as this is not something physically measurable)

You wrote: "[Sy is] complete if no deduction of a theorem θv belonging to Sy would require the widening of Ax by other axioms". You have a strange way to define completeness. What do you mean by "deduction of a theorem ?" Normally, "theorem" means that it is deduced from the given axioms. If a something cannot be deduced then it is not a theorem. In a consistent theory, negations of theorems are not theorems, and there is no such thing as a need to still make them theorems by adding more axioms that will make the theory inconsistent.

You wrote: "the consistency proof concerning all Sy as strong as or stronger than formal arithmetic prevents their completeness proof". The Incompleteness theorem says that any consistency proof of Sy inside Sy itself would would make Sy actually inconsistent (so that it has "proven" something false). Of course Sy is assumed to contain arithmetic, otherwise it would be hard for it to formulate and prove any claim of consistency in the first place.

Then, theories containing arithmetic cannot be both complete and consistent. However it does not speak about "proof of consistency vs. proof of completeness" as the question whether a theory is consistent or complete (because any inconsistent theory is complete) can remain itself undecidable.

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Sylvain Poirier replied on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 13:25 GMT
Also it is not clear to me what is meant by "constructive mathematics", as, if it is about some non-classical logic, I could not find the sense of such a logic. My impression is that it looks like some funny toy for philosophers, and maybe a senseless formal system for the pleasure of defining extravagant formal systems without clear sense, far from genuine mathematics. What I know about, though, is Godel's constructible universe, that is something making rather clear sense to me. This is a model of set theory in the classical sense, formed by the mere "constructible sets" defined in a way that still needs to be quite elaborate to indeed form a model of ZF (where the axiom of choice turns out to be true).

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Author Peter Martin Punin replied on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 17:06 GMT
SYLVAIN POIRIER

Dear Mr. Poirier

Having spent the day on the train, I just received your 3 posts.

I will reply as soon as possible, in principle this weekend.

Meanwhile, thank you for taking the time to comment my essay so thoroughly.

Just an information:

I mean by “constructive mathematics” the approach initiated by Brouwer and continued by authors from diverse backgrounds, among them Kolmogorov. “Non-classical logic” denotes HERE the so-called Brouwer-Heyting-Kolmogorov interpretation. In both cases, it is not philosophical byzantineries. For advanced computerized mathematics and/or computational approaches, constructive frameworks approaches are precious, even if in my personal opinion, their role in FOM is disputable.

If you agree, this discussion – I appreciate it – can be continued some days later.

Best regards

Peter Punin

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En Passant wrote on Mar. 15, 2015 @ 15:57 GMT
Dear Peter,

Your comment on Gary Simpson’s essay page wistfully observed that there aren’t that many Platonists around these days.

I have to say that the effect on science is not that much influenced by one’s Platonist convictions (or anti, but perhaps “non” might also apply). Let’s instead look at this pragmatically…

Suppose you come up with a scientific theory. It will be judged on its correspondence to observations and its other utility (or generalizability, etc.) No one will ponder on whether the author of such a theory is a Platonist. The subject may still be of interest to philosophers, (neuro) psychologists, or even cognitive scientists.

Unless the actual process of conducting science is adversely impacted by one’s Platonist beliefs (such as searching for answers in some metaphysical meditation, although even this might not be all bad), I cannot see why it makes a difference. This situation may be analogous to a scientist believing in God. Being religious, as I see it, has far more potential to skew what a scientist will investigate, how she might do it, and what she might believe is correct.

Your essay was well written and well-reasoned, and I see no benefit in taking up any of your arguments. I also found it interesting that you show very little underlying tendency to impose French syntax on your English prose.

En

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 15, 2015 @ 17:40 GMT
Dear En,

I will respond as soon as possible.

Best regards

Peter

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 15, 2015 @ 17:41 GMT
Dear Mr Poirier

Not being always on holiday despite of current certitudes, unfortunately I can not respond to all the details of your posts. But I will do my best, while thanking you for your efforts invested in your 3 posts; it is a form of interest beyond all disagreements that you express in this occasion. In my vision, agreement is not necessary and can not exist; I come back to...

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Sylvain Poirier replied on Mar. 24, 2015 @ 21:22 GMT
Dear Peter,

The reason why I mentioned the Completeness theorem of first-order logic, is that I see it essential to the present discussion. Namely, I see it as showing that the truth of Platonism should not be searched for in opposition to formalism, but as equivalent to it, since it shows that the systems studied by mathematical theories are constructible from the formalism itself. So I cannot see how you came to present things as if Platonism and formalism were opposite to each other, and as if there was any interest for issues of Platonism in considering mathematical edifices in a non-formalized manner, unless you somehow failed to grasp the full meaning of the Completeness theorem.

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Sylvain Poirier replied on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 05:35 GMT
So if you wonder why "Considering himself a non-Platonist, Hamkins thinks that [set theoretical] multiverses have an objective existence as suggested by Platonism", the reason to me is clear : the results of mathematical logic are not leaving us any significant philosophical choice what to believe in. The Completeness theorem essentially proves the existence of set-theoretic multiverses, leaving the labels "Platonism" and "non-Platonism" essentially obsolete by lack of a remaining unsettled question to disagree on.

The only non-refuted philosophical alternatives to the belief in set theoretic multiverses are quite poor and hardly defensible : denying the existence of an actually infinite set of natural numbers, or suspecting set theory of inconsistence. I gave a philosophical argument for the consistency of ZF, inspired from the logical proof of equivalence between the axiom schemes of replacement and reflection.

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 11:19 GMT
Dear En,

I see that you know the subtleties of French language. Moreover, behind the author's name appearing in the head of your essay, I guess a pleasant french pun suggesting many ideas such as chess...and of course your personal attitude concerning the present contest. Am I really à côté de la plaque?

Regarding my poor English, I do my best in order to not “impose French...

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En Passant replied on Mar. 24, 2015 @ 16:14 GMT
Dear Peter,

Thank you for writing such an elaborate comment.

Before getting to the content of it, let me reassure you about your English. As you might imagine, you are dealing with a sophisticated English-speaking audience. They make allowances for any lapses due to the fact that English is not your first language. Btw, English is also not my first language, but I started learning it...

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En Passant replied on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 00:20 GMT
Dear Peter,

Btw, why didn’t your parents name you Pierre?

I really liked your idiom “à côté de la plaque.” It is just so descriptive that its meaning could hardly be captured by a simple phrase stating as much.

It is a bit like the English idiom “kick off.” It is used in business to indicate the beginning of a project that requires cooperation from many people. It may sound crude, but there isn’t a comparatively efficient expression. You just cannot express the meaning of everyone ready for the run (which is where it comes from – North American football) more effectively. When I started my projects while working for business, it just would not work to say the “start.” “Kick off” is just so much effective in conveying the intended meaning.

En

P.S. You might be interested in a person named Hugo Martin Tetrode (although there isn’t a direct relationship). He independently derived his version of the Sackur-Tetrode Equation (at the ripe old age of 17).

Folklore has it that Einstein (accompanied by another guy) tried to visit him in Holland, but he turned them away. He could not be bothered (with Einstein, of all things). There are things in this world that defy our attempts to “understand” them.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Mar. 21, 2015 @ 00:06 GMT
Hi Peter,

I have not read all of your essay in detail but see that you have very clearly set out your arguments. Coming to the end I am left with two choices neither of which is wholly satisfactory, as I see it.

I would prefer to see the idealized mathematics as a distillation from nature.A distillation of relations between and among concrete elements of reality, not existing in distilled state in an immaterial universe. I once visited the Oban single malt Whiskey distillery in Scotland. The purified, distilled alcohol is colourless. But it has had to be extracted into that state.(Its later maturation in barrels reintroduces colour.) Humans know the exact properties of such pure alcohols without requiring that such properties exist in an immaterial realm as overseers of the behaviour of the material product. Similarly a perfumier mixes pure odours to create new perfumes. The pure odours are extractions from nature. He may well have rules that control which odours are compatible but such rules do not come from an immaterial odour universe.

The mathematics in nature is, as I 'see it', neither externally governed nor human made. Just as for the alcohol, this particular structure will behave in this way, other structures and co-existant relations between elements of reality behave in other ways; purely because of what they are ('muddy' or purified )and the environment in which they exist, in the here and Now.

This is just food for thought regarding the possibility of a middle ground conclusion, that you may or may not have already considered. Thank you for sharing your deduction.

Good luck in the contest. Georgina

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 21, 2015 @ 15:35 GMT
Dear Georgina

Thanks for your comments. Your metaphorical approach is really interesting and I have appreciated it. But it is also double-edged. I will respond you, tomorrow as I hope, in greater detail.

Best regards, good luck

Peter

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 23, 2015 @ 18:56 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Having carefully read your comment, I find your metaphorical reasoning very interesting. But it is also double-edged. (Concerning English expression, this opus is a catastrophe, but what can I do? I am (i) not a native speaker and (ii) terribly under time pressure.)

You are absolutely right that a distilled alcohol does not exist in this state in nature. Yes, but for...

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Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 23, 2015 @ 21:44 GMT
Dear Peter,

don't worry about your English it is brilliant. I really appreciate the time you have given to thoroughly and clearly addressing my comments. Lots of really interesting things in here, including the accidental discovery on non-euclidean geometry. That's new to me.You have done a very good job of defending your standpoint and explaining how the analogies I gave fit within it. Thank you so much.

Best regards, Georgina

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 19:57 GMT
Dear Georgina

Thanks for your kind respond. Just a little remark which seems to me essential in the context of this debate.I find it is difficult to decide whether non-euclidean geometry was discovered accidentally or not. It is certain that a "pre-programmed" discovery, and, a fortiori, a discovery "known in advance" is not a discovery. On a purely heuristic level, any discovery made by humans involves contingent factors and is at least partially determined by trial and error. But in absolute terms, I think the formulation following is more adequate: Within the framework of global geometry, Euclid's parallel postulate has in some way the structural property to be substitutable by its two possible negations. In any case, this property would have been discovered, perhaps by another trial and error approach.

The case of Saccheri is interesting; it evokes a bit that of Columbus. The latter, hyperfocussing on his project to discover a new route to India, did not realize until the end of his life that he had discovered a new continent. At least, this is our common contemporary vision. But anyway, Saccheri corresponds to this scenario. Hyperfocussing on his project to “prove” Euclid's parallel postulate by reductio ad absurdum, desperate by the unavoidable failure of this project, Saccheri could or would not realize that he had discovered the possibility of non-euclidean geometry and even non-euclidean geometry as such. But it is commonly agreed that Sacceri was doing non-euclidean geometry without being conscious of it. For my part I think, for we can do something unwittingly, this “something” must exist objectively. Hence the case of Saccheri represents an argument advocating Platonism.

Kind regards

Peter

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 27, 2015 @ 13:04 GMT
Dear En,

I will try to answer to your question if there is a way to imagine the form (or format) of how structures (forms) [[in a Platonistic sense]] can exist without people?

First it should be clarified that the question “how XYZ can exist without people?” concerns not only Platonistic items but all kind of existence comprising its material aspects. Here we touch an old...

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En Passant replied on Apr. 1, 2015 @ 16:28 GMT
Dear Peter,

Thank you for your detailed explanation. I still plan to explore some of your ideas further, and will post a comment here later this week.

So don’t give up on me yet.

I wish you and your family a Happy Easter.

En

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Member Giacomo Mauro D'Ariano wrote on Apr. 2, 2015 @ 11:53 GMT
Dear Peter

nice essay, though too technical for me. I couldn’t seriously grasp the technical part, since this would require a thorough study from my side.

I can tell you what is my position, and you can advise me if there is any incoherence from your standpoint:

1) Metaphysics (onthologies) are methodologically irrelevant.

2) Mathematics is an intimate and structural part of human language, and as such comes from experience (see e.g. George Lakoff and Rafael E Núñez (2000), Where mathematics comes from: How the embodied mind brings mathematics into being. Basic books)

3) Language is conventional, and as such is formalized.

4) By definition, the “laws” of physics are true everywhere and ever, otherwise their variation is regulated by another law.

What do you think?

Happy Easter

Mauro

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Apr. 2, 2015 @ 18:35 GMT
Dear Mauro

Thank you for your very rapid response; I'll try to take a position regarding your philosophical ideas.

Saying that metaphysics (onthologies) are methodologically irrelevant, you are absolutely speaking right, but unfortunately we are condemned to metaphysics. Carnap, main figure of logical positivism, relegates ontological realism to metaphysics, just like idealism and...

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Apr. 3, 2015 @ 08:43 GMT
Dear En

Take your time, il n'y a pas le feu. But I am of course curious about the continuation of this fascinating debate.

Happy easter

Peter

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 3, 2015 @ 16:34 GMT
Dear Peter,

I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was wrong about abstract space/time, and Hawking was wrong about the explosive capability of NOTHING.

All I ask is that you give my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL a fair reading and that you allow me to answer any objections you may leave in my comment box about it.

Joe Fisher

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En Passant wrote on Apr. 6, 2015 @ 04:55 GMT
Dear Peter,

I had to split my comment into two parts because of their length, and also because of the importance of the first comment (requiring a separate discussion). The second comment will be sent tomorrow (EDST).

On page 1 (about halfway down) you say: “…Since no one can get out of the mental representation he or she has of material reality, no one is able to empirically...

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Apr. 8, 2015 @ 18:51 GMT
Dear En

Without knowing the second part of your comment, I think there is already matter to discuss.

You are absolutely right saying that scientists as such – contrarily to what metaphysicists perhaps could do – are not interested about problems like the fact that we cannot go beyond our cognition in order to compare the reality conditioned by this cognition to the reality per...

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En Passant replied on Apr. 9, 2015 @ 02:05 GMT
Dear Peter,

I am going to fold my cards on this (you can look up the idiom if it is not familiar to you). It is not that I don’t want to debate you, and it is not for any lack of respect. It’s just that I don’t want to convince you about this (assuming I could, which you should doubt). I think it is best that you keep thinking the way you do, because it works for you.

In my...

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Apr. 10, 2015 @ 15:33 GMT
Dear En,

I would be the last to impose a continuation of this debate, if you are not longer interested. But I want to clarify that I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. As I have repeated many times, my position is as follows. (i) This contest is philosophical. (ii) Philosophy is the choice to debate on issues which do not admit definitive answers. (iii) Under these conditions, philosophy is nothing but an exchange of ideas, and this latter point is my only motivation to participate in this contest.

My contribution is not an as hoc reaction to the subject of this year. I participate because I think I have something to say about the subject. More precisely, my essay resumes in a semi-technical way long years of research on the reversibility v/s irreversibility problem, where a Platonistic approach, in my opinion, seems more coherent than competing theories.

Personally, I keep being interested on your standpoint and your manner to express it, regardless of any intention to convince or to be convinced. It is among others a question of feedback. Any discussion involving different horizons reveals misunderstandings sometimes potential, sometimes actual, and so presents a precious help for better formulations.

In your last reply there are some interesting points that deserve to be discussed. To you to see if you are still interested.

Best regards

Peter

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En Passant replied on Apr. 12, 2015 @ 03:47 GMT
Dear Peter,

I think it would still be interesting for readers of your essay to see the explanations I prompted in my “second” comment.

Whatever you wish, either answer my questions here, or (if you choose) via email (that you would indicate on your page).

And I am really interested in your thoughts about “reversability.”

En

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Member Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on Apr. 11, 2015 @ 13:34 GMT
Dear Peter,

Greetings. We understand the first page of your essay, where you present the essence of your argument very clearly, and we get the essence of the essay, but from second page onwards it gets too tough (for our level of competence) - this obviously is no reflection on what is a brilliantly executed essay, but rather a reflection on our limitations to absorb terse arguments in...

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Apr. 13, 2015 @ 17:40 GMT
Dear Anshu,

Dear Tejinder,



First let me state that I absolutely agree with your conception of a mutually beneficial constructive discussion. The subject of this contest is the stake of a long debate that continues for many many decades and probably will never find an end. Proclaiming to possess the ultimate truth in this domain seems rather pretentious. For my part, I...

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Member Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 16, 2015 @ 16:35 GMT
Dear Peter,

Many thanks once again for your detailed and thoughtful response. It is unfortunately a little busy for us right now, but we will be back in the coming days to continue this discussion.

Best,

Anshu, Tejinder

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Apr. 14, 2015 @ 15:50 GMT
Dear En

As long as this contest is continuing, it would be better to stay on this support, at least for any discussion relating the subject of the contest. For further discussions eg on irreversibility, I give you a personal mail adress

peter.punin@wanadoo.fr

Best regards

Peter

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Alexey/Lev Burov wrote on Apr. 14, 2015 @ 23:53 GMT
Dear Peter,

I highly appreciate your essay and give it the highest rating. I fully agree with your conclusion concerning the two choices of metaphysics you outline. Moreover, I have my own arguments, based on the success of the fundamental science, in the support of Platonism, which we call in this aspect Pythagorean faith. In particular, we conclude:

"After two and a half millennia since its birth, fundamental science reached a grade of maturity allowing for a dual confirmation of its faith: the Pythagorean faith is confirmed as prophecy coming true and as a good tree that brings forth good fruit."

Good luck!

Alexey Burov.

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Apr. 15, 2015 @ 19:20 GMT
Dear Alexey

Dear Lev

Big thanks for reading my essay and of course for your rating.

I will begin immediately read your essay. There are of course many ways to approach scientific Platonism.

Good luck for final sprint and see you soon on your forum

Peter

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Apr. 19, 2015 @ 15:21 GMT
Dear En

Being really overworked in this moment, I finally found some time to respond to a few among your last comments. By force of circumstances, it will be brief, but, as noted previously, there is no reason that this discussion will continue even after the contest which is nearing its end.

When you are saying “Do you have in mind a mechanism by which “…this mathematical...

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LLOYD TAMARAPREYE OKOKO wrote on Apr. 20, 2015 @ 12:05 GMT
Dear Peter,

Your somewhat ambivalent but mutually agreable resort to scientific platonism-cum-antiplatonism as a means of establishing the maths-physics-nexus is quite a commendable innovation; more so with the use of epistemiological criteria as via-media.I see greater works emerging;using yours as fulcrum.

Thanks for inspiring me.

Lloyd Tamarapreye Okoko.

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Author Peter Martin Punin wrote on Apr. 20, 2015 @ 15:20 GMT
Dear LLoyd

I did not intend to be ambiguous in my essay, just intellectually honest. On the one hand, I am in favor of Platonism, and on the other hand, Platonism IS metaphysics.

Since I try to work according to the criteria of scientific research, I am fully aware that Platonism can not be defended scientifically. However, as long as Platonism is metaphysical, its negations are the same. I know that Platonism encounters problems. But I try to show that the metaphysical background on which anti-Platonism relies despite itself is even more problematic.

Anyway, if you have some projects pointing in this direction, we can remain in contact.

Best regards

Peter

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