By Mary Tiles
An intensive account of the philosophy of arithmetic. In a cogent account the writer argues opposed to the view that arithmetic is simply good judgment.
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Additional resources for Mathematics and the Image of Reason
See: game theory; mind, philosophy of atheism Someone who does not believe that there are supernatural beings in the universe of the kind, or anything like the kind, of gods and goddesses in whom votaries of history’s various religions have believed, is called by these votaries ‘an atheist’. As this suggests, the term is one coined and applied by theists to describe those who do not share their beliefs, and for almost all history and even to some extent today it is a pejorative term, carrying a connotation – for the great majority of people throughout history – of horror: for what might not a person do who does not believe he is watched every second of the day by an invisible policeman who when he is dead will cast him into everlasting torments for the sins, crimes, horrors, murders, rapes, atrocities and anarchies that an atheist must surely be capable of?
The thing that really kept the aristocracy and its allies in charge for so long – the old-school-tie connections, what the Chinese call guanxi – is untouched by the reforms, and so a version of the hidden aristocratic hand still prevails, though it is no longer truly ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 35 a matter of lords and ladies, but of the new barons of hedge funds and multinational corporations. At least: until the crash of 2008. See: anarchism, class, politics artificial intelligence In the words of the man who coined the expression in 1955, American computer scientist John McCarthy, ‘Artificial Intelligence’ denotes ‘the science and engineering of making intelligent machines’.
So this must be what has been called ‘the golden age’ of the universe for life. Add to this the fact that gravity is 1039 times weaker than electromagnetism; were it not so much weaker, stars would be far more massive 26 A N T H RO P I C P R I N C I PLE and would therefore burn up far more quickly. The value of the strong nuclear force is also crucial, for if it were even only a little stronger atoms could not form, and if it were a little weaker neither could stars. Some – obviously enough, religious apologists foremost among them – see this as ‘proving’ that the universe exists expressly in order for us to exist, whereas the fact that we exist means that of course the physical constants of the universe have to be such that it is possible for us to be here, for if they were not, we would not be here to measure them.