>>> Gordon Fitch <gcf at panix.com> 04/01/00 09:39AM >>>
Curtiss Leung wrote:
> > > Even if you write it down on a piece of paper,
> > > an equation is still ideal and eternal, and this is
> > > what's supposedly governing matter.
> This is called Platonism, and it is with that term that Bertrand
> Russell labelled himself as a mathematician. But of course
> laws, equations, theorems, etc. exist only in human brains.
> There is no e = mc(2) "out there" in the world, though
> matter moves in ways that can be described (for human
> understanding) by that equation. Ted is simply reintroducing
> the ancient quarrel over universals first theorized by
> Plato and Aristotle.
> The odd belief that scientific laws (as opposed to what those
> laws describe) have an independent reality is just a modern
> version of Plato's forms. Ted's belief in this perhaps indicates
> the source of his odd beliefs about "minds." It is impossible to
> argue with a Platonist. They know by direct intuition of the
Couldn't this simply be a religious position? There _is_ evidence of a higher realm for some people -- the experiences of some mathematicians, for example. It is the best way they have of explaining their experiences to themselves, in spite of the fact that there is no physical evidence for it.
CB: Yes it is. Platonism is idealism. Idealism is religion.
See _Socialism: Utopian and Scientific_ by Fred Engels.