Philosophy Counts

Proof that philosophy reaches into every single aspect of our lives: numbers

One of the most loathed subjects by school kids is math. This probably has something to do with the fact that beyond simple counting, mathematical properties are one of the most abstract things we deal with commonly. It’s a common theme that when we get beyond the things we can physically interact with that they become harder to understand. Because of this, many people just muddle through math as best they can, and even those who do well in it don’t often consider how or why it is. That’s where philosophy comes in. During this episode, we address several different philosophical schools of thought regarding the existence of numbers and mathematics and try to deduce where exactly this concept fits into reality.

philosophy

Collections École Polytechnique / Jérémy Barande [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Beer:

Oktoberfest Märzen – Paulaner München

The Links:

Philosophy Talk

Numberphile

We Love Philosophy

Only 1 comment left Go To Comment

  1. Ray McLain /

    I love the notion that relationships are the essence of mathematics. A lot of people never make it through the concept of fractions, and they are hung up in the details of arithmetic. It’s sad. The beauty I find in mathematics is in the proofs of relationships and pondering “What was the ‘aha’ moment when somebody suddenly conceived the critical step?”

    I don’t have a problem with the notion that we refine our measurements to approach a “perfect” reality in the limit as our iterations or whatever approach “infinity” (i.e., they get big as all hell).

    This has been an interesting program. As a retired MS degreed physicist who wasted most of his career doing chemical and electrical engineering, I find it more fun to “do the math” (proofs) than to speculate about the philosophical implications. Those tend to come to me at odd hours of the night when I can’t get back to sleep.

    I can’t do the beer thing – after pancreatitis reminded me that just because I waited until I was about 67 to start drinking booze like a fish, I’m not immortal … but a few experiments with [never mind what] I have had moments of beautiful insights into implications of math, particle physics, art & music. I loved your discussion – it should trigger a few new ideas for me around 4:00 AM when the cat disturbs my sleep.

Leave a Reply

WordPress Anti-Spam by WP-SpamShield