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Math Is Ultimately Meaningless

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Posted by Aurino Souza on May 1, 2001 16:38:09 UTC

This just occurred to me after I wrote my post to Dick:

Math is nothing more than logic applied to perceptions. When we say 1 + 1 = 2 we're not making any metaphysical statements about the universe, we are simply doing two very trivial things:

- defining what the symbol 2 stands for
- asserting that anyone who wants to use our symbol must abide by the above definition (that is, enforce logic)

The whole of math follows the same path of logic applied to trivial definitions, nothing metaphysical or universal about it, just a series of very complex and sophisticated assertions that are in essence nothing more than circular definitions. If you disagree that all math is circular, try to come up with an equation in which both sides don't add up to zero!

The only metaphysical thing about math and its relationship with reality is the existence of numbers. You can only define numbers in terms of one another but you can't define them without making references to human perception. In a humanless universe our laws of physics would be neither true nor false, they would simply be meaningless.

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