Metaphysics and mathematics : perspectives on reality

Show simple item record Kuhn, Gideon J. 2017-10-30T09:19:07Z 2017-10-30T09:19:07Z 2017-08-16
dc.description.abstract The essence of number was regarded by the ancient Greeks as the root cause of the existence of the universe, but it was only towards the end of the 19th century that mathematicians initiated an in-depth study of the nature of numbers. The resulting unavoidable actuality of infinities in the number system led mathematicians to rigorously investigate the foundations of mathematics. The formalist approach to establish mathematical proof was found to be inconclusive: Gödel showed that there existed true propositions that could not be proved to be true within the natural number universe. This result weighed heavily on proposals in the mid- 20th century for digital models of the universe, inspired by the emergence of the programmable digital computer, giving rise to the branch of philosophy recognised as digital philosophy. In this article, the models of the universe presented by physicists, mathematicians and theoretical computer scientists are reviewed and their relation to the natural numbers is investigated. A quantum theory view that at the deepest level time and space may be discrete suggests a profound relation between natural numbers and reality of the cosmos. The conclusion is that our perception of reality may ultimately be traced to the ontology and epistemology of the natural numbers. en_ZA
dc.description.department Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2017 en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Kühn, G.J., 2017, ‘Metaphysics and mathematics: Perspectives on reality’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 73(3), a4663. https://DOI. org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4663. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0259-9422 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 2072-8050 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.4102/hts.v73i3.4663
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher AOSIS Open Journals en_ZA
dc.rights © 2017. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.subject Cellular automata en_ZA
dc.subject Computable numbers en_ZA
dc.subject Digital philosophy en_ZA
dc.subject Formal logic en_ZA
dc.subject Incompleteness theorems en_ZA
dc.subject Mathematical infinities en_ZA
dc.subject Metamathematics en_ZA
dc.subject Monist metaphysics en_ZA
dc.subject Pancomputationalism en_ZA
dc.subject Quantum computer en_ZA
dc.subject Set theory en_ZA
dc.title Metaphysics and mathematics : perspectives on reality en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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