Skip to main content


Showing posts from August 3, 2003
Bollettino LI recently had a discussion with an engineer during the course of which the subjects of God and mathematics were raised. Not for the first time, LI was struck by the difference in what mathematics means for us, and what it means for engineers. Engineers take mathematics to be primarily the efflorescence of that domain of knowledge that deals with discrete units and their relationships. Numeration, in other words, is the primary element of the mathematical. But for LI, mathematics defined by a set of functions (the variable, Successor of, etc.), a set of definitions, and a set of axioms. Our engineering friend was claiming that everything wasn�t mathematically determined. Her point was that LI held to a view similar to Quine�s � a sort of neo-Pythagorianism, in which everything eventually dissolves into number. Now, we do think there is something to be said for the idea that, theoretically, everything can be translated into mathematics. But we also see logical faults