Beep, Beep, Beep

So I’m not just amusing myself with the whole alien-asteriod-prime-number-beeps story. I have a specific point in mind.  In the Constructivist vs. Platonist debate in the philosophy of mathematics my instinct is to split the difference: when we do math we are discovering, not creating, but what we are discovering are notions about quantity and inference that lie at the very base of human cognition.  So then the question becomes, why are they so fundamental?  Is this an evolutionary response to basic facts about the world–in which case mathematics is, indirectly, an empirical natural science–or is it something specific to human cognition?  The twenty beeps thought experiment illustrates the latter case.  As for an answer to the question of “Now what?”, I have absolutely no clue.

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One Response to Beep, Beep, Beep

  1. So, it seems to me that “twenty beeps” would be “okay, I got the primes out of the way; can we move on to word problems?”

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