Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Can Mathematics Solve Complex Social Phenomena

     It is claimed on page 34 in the second paragraph, that the Timaeus outlines God's creation plan by utilizing strips of "soul stuff" organized by a musical scale of (4:4:2:1), and laid them crosswise into a +. Then God bent the two lines to make two circles directly at right angles to one another and that this created the heavens. From this example and the remaining pages it is clear that Plato relied heavily upon Mathematics to create an abundance of his theories.
    Since, Plato's thoughts have influenced so much of western thought, it is interesting to think about the ways in which Mathematics structures our lives today. From databases organizing our lives, to the internet, and from artificial intelligence to modern medicine, all are structured upon empirical data and mathematical formulas, proving that mathematics are an integral part of human life. Whether this is a priori knowledge or not is difficult to determine. Therefore, I would like to propose a thought experiment.
    If a man was stranded in the woods after receiving a strong enough blow to the head that he was unable to recollect his name or any information as to how he arrived, would this man be able to produce a mathematical equation to resolve his circumstance, or would each small movement he made be a sort of complex mathematical procedure allowing him to reach a solution and his survival unbeknownst to him. Would it take an outside observer to be able to determine whether or not he was in fact calculating. What determines calculations? Would an analysis of his behavior produce mathematical formula's or perhaps there were mathematical formulas in his environment. Would his thoughts be organized in a categorical way that upon post-survival he could go back and describe his experience in a logical and structured way. Would time be a factor in his analysis?
    Could this same analysis of his behavior be able to produce some sort of equation that if someone else were to find themselves in the same scenario that they would simply be able to follow the same calculations to be able to survive? I like to think that Pythagoras had some of these same thoughts when he was calculating his geometrical equations? What is the groups thoughts?


  1. https://www.quora.com/Will-artificial-intelligence-be-much-use-for-solving-complex-social-problems-If-so-how

  2. I'm afraid I'd be lost in the woods if I were stranded there and amnesiac. But maybe it would be an advantage not to remember my innumeracy!

  3. I think the philosophical question is this: do mathematics structure our lives, or do we structure our lives with mathematics.

    The non-Platonist position is that the difficulty lies in the fact that the Platonic view—mathematics is transcendent and therefore a prori—without scientific evidence, is impossible to prove. Platonic Forms are subject to the same principle. Applying Ockham’s Razor, in the spirit of Antisthenes, we see the result of math but not “mathness.”

    The pragmatist might say that math works—much like reality—whether one assume it’s Platonic or not.

    George Lackoff and Rafael Nunez argue in “Where Mathematics Comes From” that the embodied mind brings mathematics into being and doesn’t exist in the structure of the physical universe or beyond.

    Their position is that burden of proof concerning the transcendent nature of mathematics is on the Platonist.

    I’m with Dr. Oliver on whether mathematics might get us out of the woods—literally or figuratively, although I did locate an English pub once without a map. Go figure. *rimshot*

    (Grammatically speaking, there seems to be some debate about whether the term “mathematics” is plural or singular. I’m sticking with the singular form in this post just for the sake of consistency.)