Platonism is the most pervasive philosophy of mathematics. Indeed, it can be argued that an inarticulate, half-conscious Platonism is nearly universal among mathematicians. The basic idea is that mathematical entities exist outside space and time, outside thought and matter, in an abstract realm. In the more eloquent words of Edward Everett, a distinguished nineteenth-century American scholar, "in pure mathematics we contemplate absolute truths which existed in the divine mind before the morning stars sang together, and which will continue to exist (...) there when the last of their radiant host shall have fallen from heaven." In What is Mathematics, Really?, renowned mathematician Rueben Hersh takes these eloquent words and this pervasive philosophy to task, in a subversive attack on traditional philosophies of mathematics, most notably, Platonism and formalism. Virtually all philosophers of mathematics treat it as isolated, timeless, ahistorical, inhuman. Hersh argues the contrary, that mathematics must be understood as a human activity, a social phenomenon, part of human culture, historically evolved, and intelligible only in a social context. Mathematical objects are created by humans, not arbitrarily, but from activity with existing mathematical objects, and from the needs of science and daily life. Hersh pulls the screen back to reveal mathematics as seen by professionals, debunking many mathematical myths, and demonstrating how the "humanist" idea of the nature of mathematics more closely resembles how mathematicians actually work. At the heart of the book is a fascinating historical account of the mainstream of philosophy--ranging from Pythagoras, Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, and Kant, to Bertrand Russell, David Hilbert, Rudolph Carnap, and Willard V.O. Quine--followed by the mavericks who saw mathematics as a human artifact, including Aristotle, Locke, Hume, Mill, Peirce, Dewey, and Lakatos. In his epilogue, Hersh reveals that this is no mere armchair debate, of little consequence to the outside world. He contends that Platonism and elitism fit well together, that Platonism in fact is used to justify the claim that "some people just can't learn math." The humanist philosophy, on the other hand, links mathematics with geople, with society, and with history. It fits with liberal anti-elitism and its historical striving for universal literacy, universal higher education, and universal access to knowledge and culture. Thus Hersh's argument has educational and political ramifications. Written by the co-author of The Mathematical Experience, which won the American Book Award in 1983, this volume reflects an insider's view of mathematical life, based on twenty years of doing research on advanced mathematical problems, thirty-five years of teaching graduates and undergraduates, and many long hours of listening, talking to, and reading philosophers. A clearly written and highly iconoclastic book, it is sure to be hotly debated by anyone with a passionate interest in mathematics or the philosophy of science. (shrink)
It is explained that, in the sense of the sociologist Erving Goffman, mathematics has a front and a back. Four pervasive myths about mathematics are stated. Acceptance of these myths is related to whether one is located in the front or the back.
This is a response to Dr Charlotte Rosalind Blease's paper ‘Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), the Placebo Effect and Informed Consent’, written by Julie K. Hersh who has had ECT. Hersh argues that placebo effect is impossible to prove without endangering the lives of participants in the study. In addition, informing potential ECT patients of unproven placebo effect could discourage patients from using a procedure that from experience has proven highly effective.
The paper discusses the limitations of engineering ethics as implemented in practice, with a focus on the fact that engineering and other activities are carried out without any consideration of whether the activities are themselves ethical, and on the gap between legality and ethics. This leads to the following three central ideas of the paper. The first is the need for engineers to both be aware of and critique their own values and be able to widen their perspective to that (...) of the ‘other’, i.e., marginalised and minority groups and the environment. This understanding of the ‘other’ and values is also applied to the discussion of ethical issues relating to minority world (‘developed’) country engineers working in majority world (‘developing’) countries. The second central idea is the fact that structural and contextual factors in the form of barriers and enablers affect ethical values and practices. Individuals are not necessarily unethical in themselves, but the context and organisational ethos may present barriers to ethical behaviour and encourage the development of unethical values. These barriers and enablers are investigated through a pilot survey. The third central idea is the relationship between individual and collective responsibility and the need for support to enable engineers to think and behave ethically. (shrink)
Among the universal attributes of homo sapiens, several have become established as special fields of study—language, art and music, religion, and political economy. But mathematics, another universal attribute of our species, is still modeled separately by logicians, historians, neuroscientists, and others. Could it be integrated into “mathematics studies,” a coherent, many-faceted branch of empirical science? Could philosophers facilitate such a unification? Some philosophers of mathematics identify themselves with “positions” on the nature of mathematics. Those “positions” could more productively serve as (...) models of mathematics. (shrink)
This paper examines the role of ethics in research with potentialapplicability to chemical and biological warfare. It focuses uponbiological warfare research, and examines the ethical dilemmas faced bythose working with dual-use potential technologies. It discusses thenormative, legal and ethical prohibitions against participation inchemical and biological warfare programmes from a Western perspective.It examines the motivations of individuals participating in CBW researchand concludes with recommendations for increasing awareness aboutethical and normative prohibitions. An appendix lists the results of asurvey of ethical codes in (...) relevant scientific disciplines conducted viathe Internet. (shrink)
This article studies the politics and ethics in Ibn Ṭufayl’s twelfth-century allegory, Risālat Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān. I discuss this allegory alongside Ibn Sīnā’s own Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān and Absāl and Salāmān, first, to show that their representations of politics are not reducible to epistemology, and second, to argue that Ibn Ṭufayl inverts the political principles depicted in Ibn Sīnā’s two tales. The paper focuses on how the characters in each allegory interact with one another, and it reconstructs the neglected politics (...) and ethics of the allegories’ seemingly minor characters. I argue that in Ibn Tufayl’s descriptions of Ḥayy’s failure to convert the neighboring islanders, the islanders consistently act in accordance with three political ideals: association, hospitality, and friendship. The islanders’ reactions to Ḥayy’s arrival and to his attempts to ‘educate’ them show each of these ideals broken down into an antinomy. Ibn Tufayl’s critique of these political ideals turns on their internal potential for self-subversion. (shrink)
Traditionally Pakistani society exhibits stereotypical patriarchal gender ideologies in all spheres of life. Pakistani media also operates under the same patriarchal framework of received definitions of gender. When it comes to Pakistani television advertisements, to ensure social acceptability, typically they represent men and women in their perceived gender roles. However, recently a wave of change can be noticed in these advertisements as many advertisements challenge and/ or reconstruct gender ideologies implicitly or explicitly. In the current research advertisements selected from diverse (...) domains including edibles, cell phones and services, beauty products and toiletries denote a change across gender stereo-typicality. The paper investigates whether, how far and in what ways gender roles and ideologies are challenged and reconstructed; and what thematic, linguistic and extra linguistic strategies are used in Pakistani television advertisements. It is expected that the paper will provide insights into the processes of reconstruction of gender ideologies in Pakistan. (shrink)
Current organizations are underpinned by utilitarian ethics of Modernity. Pure economic motive driven organizations detach themselves from larger societal interest. Rising number of corporate scandals and intraorganizational income inequalities are breeding similar trends in society at large. Current organizations base their competitive advantage on resources and capabilities which boils down to economic supremacy at all cost whether it is named I/o or RBV of the firm. This theoretical article posits Ethics-based Trust as the main competency and capability for attaining sustained (...) competitive advantage. It in no way condemns utility view of the firms but treats it as a natural yet secondary outcome of genuine ethicality of the firm. Cultivating an ethical culture in the firm through identifying antecedents, organizational practices, and the outcomes where profitability is an automatic but secondary outcome under the supremacy of ethics is detailed in the multilevel model presented in this article. The main call of this article is to posit ethics and morality over and above short-term profits so that organizations fulfill their trustee role for society through enacting socio-humanistic theories within organizations. A brief analysis of the proposed ethical theory of firm is undertaken in light of the “schooling” notion in the contemporary organization theory literature. (shrink)
Obtaining informed consent is a cornerstone of biomedical research, yet participants comprehension of presented information is often low. The most effective interventions to improve understanding rates have not been identified.
Reviewed Works:Reuben Hersh, Proving is Convincing and Explaining.Philip J. Davis, Visual Theorems.Gila Hanna, H. Niels Jahnke, Proof and Application.Daniel Chazan, High School Geometry Students' Justification for Their Views of Empirical Evidence and Mathematical Proof.
This article aims to respond to the long-lived perceived incompatibility between care and compassion and justice in organizational literature. It is argued that principles of care and compassion and principles of justice are compatible with each other and can be integrated in organizations in such a way that both will supplement each other. Previous researches tend to view concepts of care and compassion and justice either as competing or inheriting some fundamental trade-offs. This article argues that the highlighted incompatibility between (...) care and compassion and justice is mainly due to the limited understanding about the nature of organizational justice. Care and compassion carry elements of subjectivity and are dynamic in nature, whereas literature on organizational justice has described justice as an objective, static and linear construct due to which an incompatibility between these two very important phenomena is prevailing. This incompatibility can be removed by changing the way of looking at organizational justice and by exploring its dynamic nature. (shrink)
Coronavirus disease is having an unprecedented and unpredictable impact on the world's economy. The pandemic has driven the world toward adapting to the current circumstances regardless of the business, sector, or industry. The coronavirus epidemic has affected the global economy and service sector. The purpose of the current study is to assess the effect of COVID-19 on service sector growth and sustainability. Global sectors and industries are trying to anchor themselves amidst the pandemic. The study focuses on the sectors that (...) are badly hit by the outbreak and discussed the strategies and responses different countries are taking to sustain their economies. This study concludes that the vital role of Information Technology and digitization supports the economies in their fight against the pandemic and helps them sustain themselves amid crises. This study also contributes to the body of literature by suggesting IT-based solutions for various industries to elevate effective responsiveness and avoid significant losses. (shrink)
Çalışma İslam hukukunun çevre ve toplumların sahip olduğu tabi kay-nakları koruma konusunda öngördüğü düzenlemelerin fıkhi ve iktisadi boyutunu açıklamayı hedef almaktadır. Araştırmamız esnasında inceledeğimiz temel dini metinler ve bunlar arasında yaptığımız karşılaştırmalar bize İslam hukukunun çevreyi ve tabi kaynakları koruma ve geliştirmeye yönelik düzenlemelere sahip olduğunu ortaya koymaktadır. Bu çalışma gösteriyor ki İslam'ın ilkeleri ve şeriat çevreye önem vermeye, özen göstermeye, tüketimde orta yolu gözetmeye ve israf yapmamaya davet etmektedir. Aynı şekilde kalkınmaya ve yeryüzünü imar etmeye ve ekonomik yararlarını gerçekleştirecek (...) şekilde ümmetin kaynaklarını korumaya da davet etmektedir. (shrink)
In my article on proof [Philosophia Mathematica (3) 5 (1997), 153—165], I suggested or intimated that computer proofs of mathematical theorems had been found only for relatively simple or trivial theorems. I am obligated to Martin Davis and R. S. Boyer for the information that this suggestion or intimation is incorrect. For instance, a machine proof of quadratic reciprocity was published by D. M. Russinoff in J. Automated Reasoning 8 (1992), 3–21. A machine proof of the unsolvability of the halting (...) problem has been published by R S. Boyer and J. S. Moore. This and many other examples are presented in Chapter 1 of their book, A Computational Logic Handbook, Academic Press, 1990. A second edition of this book is expected shortly. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the target article “Who Conceives of Society?” by Ernst von Glasersfeld. First paragraph: Ernst von Glasersfeld seems to say to social constructivists, “You attribute reality to society, but your society is just another construct, all you know is just the bits of light and shadow and color that your visual system provides to you.” Now, “society” is just a big word for “other people.” I can give to this text of von Glasersfeld’s either a short answer (...) or a long one. (shrink)
John Rawls, in his Political Liberalism (1993), claims that his justice-as-fairness prescription for liberal democracy does not require its citizens to harbor doubts regarding the truth claims of their religious, philosophical, or moral comprehensive doctrines. Citizens, he says, need not be “hesitant or uncertain, much less skeptical, about [their] own beliefs.” This claim is necessary for the protection of liberty of conscience, a “primary goods”, but it is also necessary to his description of his scheme as a “reasonable utopia” since (...) citizens are not likely to agree to a demand for skepticism. The problem arises for Rawls’s scheme when he says that for a citizen to participate in this political process she must be “reasonable” and that to qualify as “reasonable”, she must acknowledge what Rawls calls the “burdens of judgment” (that is, “limits on what can be reasonably justified to others”). This acknowledgment allows her not only to qualify as reasonable herself, but forces her to concede the reasonableness of other citizens who hold different truth claims from her own. Rawls’s fourth “burden of conscience” is an admission that the truth claims of all citizens, including her own, are conditioned by what Rawls calls her “total experience”. Unless she is willing to make the admission that her truth claims are contingent, a citizen cannot qualify as “reasonable” and is excluded from the conversation of public reason whose purpose is to produce a consensus on justice principles. This leaves his scheme in the category of “unreasonable utopias”. (shrink)
In the year 1842, Thomas Cole (1801-1848) painted a set of four oil paintings entitled THE VOYAGE OF LIFE. As the title indicates, the artist likened life to a voyage. This voyage begins with man emerging as a child from a dark cave into the river of life in a spring setting. As this voyage through the river of life continues, man is seen passing through the stages of youth, manhood, & then finally old age. Likewise, the setting of nature (...) is seen correspondingly passing through the stages of summer, autumn, & then finally winter. Any voyage must have a starting point, destination & duration. Also any voyage is a continuation of some sort of existence, & there is a continuity of existence after the voyage is complete. What is this voyage? Why does it have to exist? What existed before this voyage? What will happen after the destination is reached? Why is it short for some, long for others? Why is it easier for some, harder for others? Daheshism deals with these issues & many others. Daheshism is a revolution in the human approach to philosophy, life & religion. It is a new garment for the body of traditional thought & belief. The aim of Daheshism is to provide a universal belief that encompasses all other beliefs. It accomplishes synthesis rather than fragmentation of religious beliefs & expansion rather than contraction of philosophical thought. To order: P.O. Box 16680-8680, Alexandria, VA 22302. Telephone: 703-845-8223, FAX 703-845-8224 or Baker & Taylor Books. (shrink)
Nugayev critically analyzes current conceptions of scientific change. Then he constructs his own normative model and compares it with actual problematic situations. In particular, he analyzes critically the replacement of Lorentz’s theory with the special theory of relativity. Key words: Popper, Duhem, Schlesinger, Lakatos, Kuhn .
The article is devoted to the nature of science. To what extent are science and mathematics affected by the society in which they are developed? Philosophy of science has accepted the social influence on science, but limits it only to the context of discovery (a "locational" approach). An opposite "attributive" approach states that any part of science may be so influenced. L. Graham is sure that even the mathematical equations at the core of fundamental physical theories may display social attributes. (...) He has used the investigations of the famous Soviet physicist V. Fock on the General Theory of Relativity which were under the influence of Marxism. The Goal of the article is to demonstrate: 1) Why Soviet science is not an appropriate subject-matter for testing the thesis of social constructivism, 2) That differnt levels of science and different stages in the development of science undergo social influences in different degrees ranging from very significant and unavoidable to absolutely trivial and easy eliminated. (shrink)