Saturday, June 20, 2015

The "Reality" of math and logic

Logic has been used as a methodology even before its formalization. In order to survive, our progenitors had to be able to deduce whether a particular place or event was dangerous. These more earlier versions of ourselves, needed to determine what was safe to eat and where food was located. In this sense they were using logic intuitively.

As societies evolved, we became aware of a need for a system of accounting. We developed symbols to serve as abstract models for real world objects. Empirically , we can demonstrate the need for a modeling system. We can also demonstrate that these models of real world objects work. The models functionality means they can be used for future discoveries, and aids in civilization building.

Enumeration permeates our entire civilization and history on multiple levels. It observably exists separate from language. From the simplest counting systems, patterns began to emerge. The laws of mathematics became more complex, and a method of proof was needed that was empirically verifiable. The earliest proofs were purely empirical as used by the Pythagoreans and Thales of Miletus. Over time, mathematical proofs slowly became less heuristic and a formalized system of logic was becoming more prominent. Logic was largely an emergent aspect of these methods of empirical verification. The methods of logical proof slowly grew over the next two and half centuries from Thales around 550 BCE to Euclid around 300 BCE. Euclid is credited with formulation of the axiomatic method of proof.

The Euclidean style of proof through axioms, appears assumptive, or only justifiable a priori.
The axioms served as descriptions or definitions of geometric objects. The definitions could be demonstrated empirically in general, but they did rely on assumptions. For example, take the statement 2 points determine a line. This is a postulate proposed as self-evident, and deduced from it is many other theorems. If you were to take this as meaning all statements derived rely on a non-empirical premise you would be incorrect. The statement can be demonstrated as empirically true. You would simply have to draw a line through only one point. The line drawn, would be a point and not a line. To construct a line you would have no choice but to have it pass through multiple points. So, we can see the statement is both self-evident and empirically demonstrable.

The evolution of mathematical systems of proof allowed for a more formalized system of logic. All of which finds its origins in our innate pattern recognition. The ability to recognize patterns and natural desire to seek them out led to the mathematical modeling of real world objects. The modeling techniques made a complete system of logic and mathematics more easily constructed and shared. We formulated logical and mathematically complete laws and theorems from some of the simplest models.
We see that these models are intuitive,empirical, and justified in their use.

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