On the Philosophy of Mathemathics

  1. Reading a locked thread a post caught my eye:

    "Well...that's easy; if you have a finite temporal interval 1/2, and you add 1/4 and 1/8 and 1/16 and so on, then you get a temporal interval of 1. I really don't understand what "physical interpretation" is supposed to mean in this context. If 2+2=4, then adding 2 apples to 2 apples gives me 4 apples; if a geometric series converges to a sum, then adding up temporal intervals equal in magnitude to the terms of that series gives me a temporal interval equal to that sum."

    Actually only this part of it: "If 2+2=4, then adding 2 apples to 2 apples gives me 4 apples"

    I couldnt agree more...also adding 1 apple to 1 apple gives 2 apples...

    But what are we doing when we in free fall adds 1 drop of water to 1 drop of water?

    1+1=2 but here the result is not 2 drops of water but 1 drop of water. Its having the added mass of the original drops but the fact that it is only 1 drop of water remains in front of our eyes. We cant draw the conclusion that (in this case) 1+1 = 1, since the only solution to the equation x+x=x is zero...Does it matter what objects we add?

    So again: What are we doing while "adding" water drops to water drops? Destroying numbers?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. micromass

    micromass 18,442
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    This post does not meet the guidelines of the philosophy forum.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook