[math] Accounting for Numbers

Andrew Dudzik adudzik at gmail.com
Wed Nov 14 11:54:20 CST 2012

I'm actually about halfway through *Thinking Fast and Slow* at the moment.

I'd love to hear some more thoughts on this.

This is something I'm currently thinking about a lot, so you might want to
ask me again in a few months.  But sections 4 and 5 of this
pragmatism by Roberto Unger, my favorite thinker, contains some choice
quotations.  Unger bemoans "the overwhelming influence that the
disciplinary structure of the modern university, with its obsessive focus
on the filtering out of unreliable people and ideas, has had upon the way
we do science."  But, as with most of Unger's work, you'll have to find the
details elsewhere.

That essay, incidentally, is where I got the idea that the realism vs.
constructivism debate is a pretty lie, covering up deeper, more unsettling
concerns about how mathematics is actually practiced.  Unger calls it a way
of "keeping disagreement within the family", and notes that it is by no
means confined to mathematics.

Related to the project of restructuring the social organization of the
university system is the project of reorganizing the language surrounding
science.  Bruno Latour's excellent book *Politics of
* attempts to do just that, though I've just barely begun reading it.
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