Achilles, the Tortoise, and the Objectivity of Mathematics (MP3 download)
By Pat Corvini
Philosophers and mathematicians alike have long misunderstood the relation of mathematics to the real world and to the rest of human knowledge. A proper theory of concepts is essential to an understanding of the nature of math. Thanks to Ayn Rand, we now have the basis for such an understanding.
In this course, Dr. Corvini draws on Objectivist epistemology to offer a new identification of how mathematical concepts are related to physical concretes, including a new formulation of the concept of infinity. She uses the easy-to-visualize example of Achilles and the tortoise to make the ideas accessible to a general audience. In the process, she also identifies the fundamental error that underlies Zeno's famous paradox and that has long obstructed men's understanding of mathematical abstractions. Her analysis underscores the importance and power of Ayn Rand's theory of concepts.
This course will be of interest to anyone interested in epistemology; no prior mathematics background assumed.
This course was recorded at the 2005 Objectivist Summer Conference in San Diego, CA.
(MP3 download; 4 hours, 12 minutes, with Q & A, 180.97 MB)