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So do numbers exist or not?

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So do numbers exist or not?
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leroyPosts: 1308Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post So do numbers exist or not?

So do numbers exist or not?
Well, if you’re a platonist, you would answer “yes, numbers exist”. And further you would claim that they possess a sort of existence that is abstract — different from the sort of existence that stones, trees, and quarks enjoy. Of course, this means you are in the unenviable position of explaining the coherence of this sort of existence, along with the herculean task of explaining how we know about anything in this abstract, non-physical realm.
If you’re a nominalist, you’d probably answer “no, numbers do not exist”. However, now you have the unenviable job of explaining why mathematics seems so indispensable to science, while science is perhaps our best tool for saying which things exist. The two best nominalist answers to this conundrum seem untenable.

https://welovephilosophy.com/2012/12/17 ... ers-exist/




"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:43 pm
SparhafocPosts: 475Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Do numbers exist or not?

Or do they both exist and not exist simultaneously? Like a Schrodinger's Asshat?


if you consider the probabilities of having a universe with low (entropy?) that came in to existence by chance vs the probability of dreaming that you live in such universe, the second is more probable....

....

well obviously I don't have the exact numbers


I guess it depends on what you're arguing about whenever someone shows you wrong, and then you decide at that point whether to argue numbers exist or to argue the contrary or the contrary or the contrary - really, motivation and agenda inform all for some people. Who gives a fuck really if numbers exist or not? Numbers are just, well, numbers to be made up when needed, and ignored when not.
If a human disagrees with you, let him live! In a hundred billion galaxies you will not find another!
Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:00 pm
leroyPosts: 1308Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Sparhafoc wrote: Who gives a fuck really if numbers exist or not? Numbers are just, well, numbers to be made up when needed, and ignored when not.


well I am personally interested in the philosophy of math, and perhaps other members from this forum have the same interest, this is why I made a new thread.

if no one in this forum gives a fuck really if numbers exist or not then this thread will be ignored.... other members should decide if the are interested in this or not

but to be honest I am also making an experiment, I was wondering if you would act like a civilized individual in a theme that has nothing to do with religion, the bible, evolution or any other sensitive topic.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:07 pm
SparhafocPosts: 475Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

leroy wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote: Who gives a fuck really if numbers exist or not? Numbers are just, well, numbers to be made up when needed, and ignored when not.


well I am personally interested in the philosophy of math, and perhaps other members from this forum have the same interest, this is why I made a new thread.

if no one in this forum gives a fuck really if numbers exist or not then this thread will be ignored.... other members should decide if the are interested in this or not




Irony.

LEROY, the text written there was my impression of your behavior in every other thread.



but to be honest I am also making an experiment, I was wondering if you would act like a civilized individual in a theme that has nothing to do with religion, the bible, evolution or any other sensitive topic.


When you stop thinking your innately superior, that your half-baked opinions are more worthy than evidence, when you show even a modicum of respect to the people here and stop treating them like your humping post - maybe you'll find that civilization was there all along, and it was just that your urine had obstructed it from your view.

My answer is exactly as civilized as I wanted it to be - I wanted to mock the fuck out of the annoying little cunt who runs around in everyone else's thread being a spoiled little shitbag.

Did I succeed?
If a human disagrees with you, let him live! In a hundred billion galaxies you will not find another!
Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:36 pm
Steelmage99Posts: 142Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 9:43 am Gender: Male

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

I consider numbers conceptual representations of real-world physical properties.
Mathematics I consider a man-made system (still being) developed to facilitate description of, and communication about, reality.

I don't think mathematics (or logic or morals, for example) existed before we invented and codified it.
I do think that what mathematics (and logic and morals) refer to and describes does exist.

Does that mean I think numbers are real or not?
I don't know. Are conceptual representations "real"?
If they are then; "Yes".
If they are not then; "No".
Blunder that theists make all the time;

Pretending to know what other people think.
Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:26 am
SparhafocPosts: 475Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

It's a good point, SM - there are discrete components of the universe, at least insofar as our senses and brain divine them.

As we're on the topic, there was a long discussion about by nematodery on another rationalist forum many years ago where people set about proving to me that 99.9% = 100%

My problem wasn't the math (which they convinced me of in the first post), but rather that the math could not represent reality.

If you take away 0.00000(add as many 0'sas you like)00000001% from something, then you have to have taken away something meaning the remainder isn't 100% of the original.

As such, math is obviously vital as a language to explore and define the universe and its workings, but like any language, it also contains some fudging, some artifacts of our own thinking. The most precise language, perhaps, ever invented by humans, but still not maximally precise.
If a human disagrees with you, let him live! In a hundred billion galaxies you will not find another!
Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:24 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2855Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Greetings,

Numbers don't exist - they, and mathematics, are symbolic representations of relationships in the physical universe.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:06 pm
SparhafocPosts: 475Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Dragan Glas wrote:Numbers don't exist - they, and mathematics, are symbolic representations of relationships in the physical universe.


Agreed, but if there are discrete parts of the universe that can rightly be classified as separate from the other parts, then there are quantities in the universe regardless of numbers existing to count them.

If there's anything Platonic here, isn't it just that some bits aren't best described as being parts of a bigger bit? :)
If a human disagrees with you, let him live! In a hundred billion galaxies you will not find another!
Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:10 pm
MarsCydoniaUser avatar
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Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

leroy wrote:well I am personally interested in the philosophy of math

Not the most hilarious of jokes but at least it cannot be said that Leroy has no sense of humour.
"I don't know how the burden of proof works in the mind of atheists but I don't have to prove my claims" - A public information message from the League of Reason's christians
Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:37 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2855Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Greetings,

Sparhafoc wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Numbers don't exist - they, and mathematics, are symbolic representations of relationships in the physical universe.


Agreed, but if there are discrete parts of the universe that can rightly be classified as separate from the other parts, then there are quantities in the universe regardless of numbers existing to count them.

If there's anything Platonic here, isn't it just that some bits aren't best described as being parts of a bigger bit? :)

I had seen an article with cited paper where recent research had indicated that language itself was essentially the same - but now can't find it. :x

On a side note, the "scratchy head" emoticon for which you're looking could be the "confused" one - :?

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:52 pm
leroyPosts: 1308Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

Numbers don't exist - they, and mathematics, are symbolic representations of relationships in the physical universe.

Kindest regards,

James


ok so how would you solve the problems that that nominalism inherits?

If you’re a nominalist, you’d probably answer “no, numbers do not exist”. However, now you have the unenviable job of explaining why mathematics seems so indispensable to science, while science is perhaps our best tool for saying which things exist. The two best nominalist answers to this conundrum seem untenable


if math was invented by humans why is the universe and the laws consistent with math? I am not implying that Platonism can solve this dilema, to be the philosophy of math is intriguing and very interested,
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:06 pm
SparhafocPosts: 475Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Dragan Glas wrote:I had seen an article with cited paper where recent research had indicated that language itself was essentially the same - but now can't find it. :x


Oh yeah, language is Platonism in action! :)

I love doing this one when it comes to symbolism in H. sapiens, because we all construct mental archetypes on command, triggered by nouns, verbs etc.

It's always intriguing culturally what components are universal to an archetype, and what are irrelevant. Kind of Sapir-Whorfian:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_relativity


Dragan Glas wrote:On a side note, the "scratchy head" emoticon for which you're looking could be the "confused" one - :?


Many thanks for the suggestion, but I am not sure confusion is what I would like to depict, rather it's more of a 'say wut now?' kind of expression I'm after! :D
If a human disagrees with you, let him live! In a hundred billion galaxies you will not find another!
Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:14 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2855Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Greetings,

leroy wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

Numbers don't exist - they, and mathematics, are symbolic representations of relationships in the physical universe.

Kindest regards,

James


ok so how would you solve the problems that that nominalism inherits?

If you’re a nominalist, you’d probably answer “no, numbers do not exist”. However, now you have the unenviable job of explaining why mathematics seems so indispensable to science, while science is perhaps our best tool for saying which things exist. The two best nominalist answers to this conundrum seem untenable


if math was invented by humans why is the universe and the laws consistent with math? I am not implying that Platonism can solve this dilema, to be the philosophy of math is intriguing and very interested,

You've got it the wrong way round.

Since numbers, and mathematics, are symbolic representations of relationships in the physical universe, they are consistent with the universe.

I'd have thought that was obvious from the earlier statement.

There's no conundrum.

And laws are descriptive - they describe what we observe in the universe.

Again, no conundrum.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:38 pm
SparhafocPosts: 475Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Oooh! I missed this doozy!

if math was invented by humans why is the universe and the laws consistent with math?


Because the math and laws were invented by humans to describe quantities in the universe.

But no one thinks they're perfect representations, LEROY.

Laws, for example, are simple observations about what occurs when 2 quantities are in a given relationship.

Do you think laws are special, LEROY? Most Creationists think that theories graduate to laws when they're 'proven' and given your love of using that word incorrectly, I would be surprised if you weren't under that typical Creationist misapprehension.

Further, we know math was invented. How do we know? Because we have historical records of it. For example, Newton & Leibniz both formulated and formalized calculus and published their explanations of how to use it around the same time in the 17th century. We know, because we have historical records of these events.

Numbers aren't math, LEROY - just in case you hadn't grasped this.
If a human disagrees with you, let him live! In a hundred billion galaxies you will not find another!
Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:08 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2228Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:02 am
SparhafocPosts: 475Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

I do not however think it is amazing that human beings discovered the concept of number since its necessity was inevitable given that without it precise measurement is simply impossible as there would be no other way to define a specific quantity or the relationships between quantities


I find Surreptitious' post to be typically confused and perplexing.

Discovered the concept of number? Humans did no such thing, other animals have shown the ability to count. Kind of important if you don't want to constantly get stitched up in a social group that shares food. Monkeys even show anger if they're being stitched up in a deal.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4 ... 01963.html

...inequity aversion may not be uniquely human. Many highly cooperative nonhuman species seem guided by a set of expectations about the outcome of cooperation and the division of resources...


Again, the actual concept there is the ability to see things as being discrete from other things, that not all is to be considered as one thing. That must come quite far back in our evolutionary heritage. Not going to guess where, but presumably some time around the ability to see. That thing is moving so run, means a discrete quantity is recognized. Primates certainly seem to be able to count, and potentially all mammals can maintain some notion of the number of offspring they had this morning, compared to how many they have when they return to the nest.

Obviously, there's always the concern of putting human thoughts into animals minds, but I think there's just as much reason to be cautious about pretending that what we consider to be human style thoughts are unique to humans.
If a human disagrees with you, let him live! In a hundred billion galaxies you will not find another!
Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:49 pm
leroyPosts: 1308Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Sparhafoc wrote:
I do not however think it is amazing that human beings discovered the concept of number since its necessity was inevitable given that without it precise measurement is simply impossible as there would be no other way to define a specific quantity or the relationships between quantities


I find Surreptitious' post to be typically confused and perplexing.

Discovered the concept of number? Humans did no such thing, other animals have shown the ability to count. Kind of important if you don't want to constantly get stitched up in a social group that shares food. Monkeys even show anger if they're being stitched up in a deal.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4 ... 01963.html

...inequity aversion may not be uniquely human. Many highly cooperative nonhuman species seem guided by a set of expectations about the outcome of cooperation and the division of resources...


Again, the actual concept there is the ability to see things as being discrete from other things, that not all is to be considered as one thing. That must come quite far back in our evolutionary heritage. Not going to guess where, but presumably some time around the ability to see. That thing is moving so run, means a discrete quantity is recognized. Primates certainly seem to be able to count, and potentially all mammals can maintain some notion of the number of offspring they had this morning, compared to how many they have when they return to the nest.

Obviously, there's always the concern of putting human thoughts into animals minds, but I think there's just as much reason to be cautious about pretending that what we consider to be human style thoughts are unique to humans.



human beings discovered the concept of number ?

thise seems to be something that a realist would say

so which one is it?(Sparhafoc, Dragan)

1 did humans / animals discovered numbers? this would mean that numbers exist as abstract objects.

2 or did humans / animals invented numbers to represent aspects of reality, this would mean that numbers don't exist outside our imagination (nominalism) numbers would be like words.

3 apart form numbers, do you believe in the existence of any abstract object?
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:06 pm
SparhafocPosts: 475Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

leroy wrote:human beings discovered the concept of number ?

thise seems to be something that a realist would say

so which one is it?(Sparhafoc, Dragan)

1 did humans / animals discovered numbers? this would mean that numbers exist as abstract objects.

2 or did humans / animals invented numbers to represent aspects of reality, this would mean that numbers don't exist outside our imagination (nominalism) numbers would be like words.

3 apart form numbers, do you believe in the existence of any abstract object?



Again. In a post where I expressly write that I disagree with the concept of humans 'discovering' numbers. LEROY follows up by asking me to take the opposite position from the one I've expressly stated.


One might have thought he'd notice the first words of my post being...

Sparhafoc wrote:Discovered the concept of number? Humans did no such thing,...


But no. When I say 'no', LEROY reads it as 'yes'.

And then proceeds to ask me questions, the answers to which I have manifestly given in the post he's supposedly replying to.

You don't need a discussion forum, LEROY. You need a soapbox.
If a human disagrees with you, let him live! In a hundred billion galaxies you will not find another!
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:24 pm
leroyPosts: 1308Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

Sparhafoc wrote:
leroy wrote:human beings discovered the concept of number ?

thise seems to be something that a realist would say

so which one is it?(Sparhafoc, Dragan)

1 did humans / animals discovered numbers? this would mean that numbers exist as abstract objects.

2 or did humans / animals invented numbers to represent aspects of reality, this would mean that numbers don't exist outside our imagination (nominalism) numbers would be like words.

3 apart form numbers, do you believe in the existence of any abstract object?



Again. In a post where I expressly write that I disagree with the concept of humans 'discovering' numbers. LEROY follows up by asking me to take the opposite position from the one I've expressly stated.


One might have thought he'd notice the first words of my post being...

Sparhafoc wrote:Discovered the concept of number? Humans did no such thing,...


But no. When I say 'no', LEROY reads it as 'yes'.

And then proceeds to ask me questions, the answers to which I have manifestly given in the post he's supposedly replying to.

You don't need a discussion forum, LEROY. You need a soapbox.


well if your position was not clear why wouldn't I ask?


Discovered the concept of number? Humans did no such thing


in the context in which that sentence was written I had the impression that you where implying that animals discovered numbers long before humans, (implying that you grant the existence of numbers)


but ok, if my impression was wrong, then it was wrong, not a big deal. thanks for clarifying your position.



so just for the record, you don't believe that numbers are abstract objects right ? please correct me if I am wrong
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:02 pm
SparhafocPosts: 475Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: So do numbers exist or not?

leroy wrote:well if your position was not clear why wouldn't I ask?


You asked the same way as you ask all the other things you want to distort - with a loaded question.

My position is sufficiently clear for anyone with the reading comprehension of a 6 year old or greater.

/shrug



leroy wrote:in the context in which that sentence was written I had the impression that you where implying that animals discovered numbers long before humans, (implying that you grant the existence of numbers)


but ok, if my impression was wrong, then it was wrong, not a big deal. thanks for clarifying your position.


In the text you are supposedly quibbling about, it completely contradicts what you've summarized.

So perhaps you need to spend more time and effort on reading what people wrote, LEROY.

Or you could just pretend it's because everyone else isn't 'clear'.

As everyone else can see, my argument was about discrete quantities - numbers are basically irrelevant, just symbolic labels for the discrete quantities which allow us to communicate from one mind to another. Your latest foray is like wondering whether humans made up trees simply by labeling them. Perhaps that's what you want to argue, but it's assuredly not my position, not least because it's absurd.



leroy wrote:so just for the record, you don't believe that numbers are abstract objects right ? please correct me if I am wrong


No, I believe that numbers are symbols which represent DISCRETE objects, not abstract objects. It's the symbols which are abstract.
If a human disagrees with you, let him live! In a hundred billion galaxies you will not find another!
Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:43 am
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