At school, I was never good in maths. At the university, I was interested in statistics, but only marginally. Honestly, I started tu learn about the beauty of maths many years later, when working with more intelligent people than me who understand computers and data, in general. After I started working on Blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies in 2014, I began to realise that some aspects of maths, such as game theory or category theory, play together with other fields of interests of mine, philosophy and neuroscience, in particular.
Last week, Jonatan shared this very interesting and inspiring article about mathematician and philosopher Kurt Gödel with me. In comparison to Albert Einstein, or Bertrand Russell, Kurt Gödel lacks of fame. Whereas all people have heard of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and most people have at least an idea of what Russel described in his Principia Mathematica, not so many pople might have heard of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems. One, and probably the best reason for not knowing Gödel’s work is that nobody really has understood it, yet. If you think you do, please start by reading the above mentioned article, then the original Theory and then enlighten us by adding your 2 cents in the comment section below.
Positivism Vs. Platonism
For me the most interesting aspect of Kurt Gödel is that he did not comply with the predominant school of thought of his time – the Logical Positivism, or ‘Constructivism’, mainly represented by the Vienna Circle. Somewhat strange for a brilliant scientific thinker like him, Gödel believed in God and he passionately believed in mathematical Platonism. In short, whereas the Constructivists believe mathematics to be the invention of the human mind; the Platonists believe it to be a set of truths discovered by human reason. Thus, for the mainstream mathematician, Platonism us involve some metaphysics or other, beyond-logic aspects.
For me, mathematical Platonism is a perfect (mathematical) description of my personal worldview that I lime to describe with ‘Connecting The Dots’: for me, human beings aren’t inventors, but rather discoverers. We don’t invent things, but we uncover and discover them by connecting the dots of our universe. In my opinion, this worldview better fulfils the ambition of human beings: it wasn’t and it isn’t us who create – we are only good in discovering.