[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Re: To John Mead from Don regarding Math

Jan 25, 1994 07:03 PM
by John Mead

> To say that math is culturally independent though is a tough call to
> support. if this is the case, then why have not all cultures developed
> mathematics like we have?

(no culture has any mathematics that is conceptually different. Of
course there may be many cultures which have discovered more mathematics
than another. How many values of PI exist?? ie. the ratio of a circle to
its diameter has nothing to do with any culture. nor is it any different
today than it was 1 million years ago on alpha centauri. don't confuse
a cultural ignorance with reality).

the math IS independent. 1 + 1 = 2 in the real numbers everywhere.
If a culture expresses the concepts different it does not mean that the
math is different. The real number system is unique. (e.g.). even if
you assume a second exists which follows the laws, it can be proven
to be identical (equivalent in CONCEPT).

> I think we cannot discuss math as a phenomena in isolation from the
> cultures that developed (relatively) advanced mathematical theories.
> There is always a specific metaphysic behind any culture, and such a
> metaphysic will color what ever social products the culture produces.
> When we discuss the trans-cultureal reality of math, we must be
> careful to ascertain the metaphysical orientation behind our culture's
> extrodinay development of mathematical art.

> For example, John, you say:
> <Mathematics are truly independent of culture, space, and time.>
> However, I am presently reading an excellent sociology book (ref upon
> request) that shows quite convincingly that space and time are
> cultural products.

yes ... (understanding's of) space and time are cultural and change with
each cultures understanding. but that has nothing to do with math.
that is a physics problem which relates the advancement of a culture.

> It is actually within this type of sociological framework that we can
> attempt to explain why some cultures have developed sophisticated
> notions of time and space, why other cultures have not, and why some
> cultures have refined these notions into the language of math.

but time *itself* is the same... concepts of a thing are different from
the object. do you believe that if we build a time machine, it will not
work AFTER we travel back in time before the concepts were developed???
if you do, then we have a certain disagreement.

> <The physical reality is too impure to maintain its form (i.e. it is
> maya). The Math does not work (in a predictive sense within reality)
> because the Physical is only a mere/crude imitation of the exact
> forms.>
> John, I hate to say it, by I definately agree more with Eldon on this
> one

That's why I brought the subject back up....

> Mathematics are merely symbolic representations of Nature. Nature is
> the fundamental factor. Our symbolic representations of Nature exists
> *within* Nature. They are less than Nature in a sense.

yes we disagree... Reality is maya (MHO),  and the laws of Mathematics
have a permanence which transcends the PHYSICAL universe. I'm openly
stating that the concepts of MATH are universal, unchanging, and hence
REAL. Nothing in the PHYSICAL realm has this high of a level of
reality. Math resides on the mental plane, and is more inherently real
than the matter on the physical plane.

> I was reading recently in a Seth book some ideas relevant here. Seth
> points out how each culture expresses a certain way to concieve the
> world

you are confusiong the mathematical model used by physists with the
mathematics itself. The models always change. The math *itself* never

Peace --

John Mead

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application