Elizabeth Spelke On Bloggingheads: Towards A Coalitional Mathematics?

Full diavlog here.

A very interesting discussion.

Just a few thoughts:

1Spelke is a psychologist at Harvard, who suggests that some of her research may hint at a biological basis for social grouping in humans  (babies perhaps show preference for people who speak their own language, or people who resemble their own caregivers as gateways to the social world and shared knowledge they seek to join and there may be some biological reasons for this).

2.  One of her solutions is to eventually point toward math (what joshua knobe here calls coalitional mathematics, or what is a rather long and philosophical view of mathematics…not as fixed, but as and ever changing body of the deepest knowledge we have that we can transcend and that can transcend many of the other limitiations that bind us).

So we use music, language, similarity at a very deep level to define ourselves as members of a group and the value of Spelke’s work as she sees it is in mapping a metaphysical realm that can highlight such limitations…

3.  Despite the value of Spelke’s work, I’m left with the question of why not just study math, or science…or even philosophy…instead of psychology?  


Richard Feynman was apparently not too impressed with psychology, and explains why here in “Cargo Cult Science.”  Something to talk about anyways…

See Also On This Site:  A few doubts about philosophy and metaphysics:  From Bryan Magee’s Talking Philosophy On Youtube: Geoffrey Warnock On Kant

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