RE: Friendliness and blank-slate goal bootstrap

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Oct 08 2003 - 08:53:53 MDT

It's true -- mathematics is a part of human society and culture, and in that
sense is physically rooted.

However, the obvious point is that *some* math can be easily interpreted to
tell us things about the physical world -- that is, the actual math
structures are in a sense "homomorphic" to aspects of the physical world,
BESIDES the physical-world relationship implicit in the neural structures
that implement them. Whereas other math structures are not (e.g. the
theory of inaccessibly large cardinals seems not to have any plausible
mapping onto any aspect of physical reality except for, according to your
argument, the states of human brains when thinking about them)

ben g

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of Rafal
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 1:04 PM
Subject: RE: Friendliness and blank-slate goal bootstrap

Ben Goertzel wrote:

> Regarding math, I agree with your comments; of course math is not
> intrinsically about the physical world.

### If we agree that the qualia experienced by a mathematician while engaged
in mathematical reasoning (the epiphanies, theorems, mind-numbness, imagery,
numbers, confusion, clarity, and beauty) are all that we know about math (or
even, they *are* math), and such qualia are due to the actions of neurons,
which formed in evolution to deal with survival in the physical world, then
math (as we know it) would have a very intrinsic relation to the physical
world. In this way, math becomes just a property of the world - but then
perhaps, one could say that the world is nothing but math, a bit more
difficult than the math that fits into our minds, but still only math.


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