Prelude to Mathematical Neo-Platonism

Quote:"Is not being, then, unified number,

and beings number unfolded,

and Intellect number moving in itself,

and the living creature number

embracing everything?"

-Plotinus

Quote:Is there any substance to MNP? Or is it no more than a pretentious sounding but ultimately empty combination of words, a mere flatus vocis? Very interesting in this regard is the remarkable role played by axiomatic set theory in contemporary mathematics. As most mathematicians nowadays recognize, axiomatic set theory functions as the foundation for virtually all of mathematics – and some mathematicians would go even further than this, e.g. John Mayberry: "set theory is not really, or not just, a foundation for mathematics. It simply is modern mathematics." (1988: 353) This privileged role played by axiomatic set theory holds in particular for ZFC, which is standardly used in mathematics and mathematical logic. As I will show in the following, ZFC reproduces surprisingly many of the conceptual structures characteristic of NP, notably its hierarchical universe deriving from a single and indeterminate source. Now, suppose that this analogy between ZFC and NP holds up under closer analysis. Wouldn't we then be justified in concluding that ZFC = MNP, since ZFC reproduces NP in the context of mathematics? Let's see how far this analogy goes.

'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

- Bertrand Russell