Math: Discovered or Invented?

by Neo Lee on March 20, 2017

1. In your opinion, in which other AOKs does it make sense to ask this question of discovered/invented?

Religious Knowledge Systems: This AOK can be debated on whether or not it is discovered or invented, because we are unsure about whether the human actually created these kinds of beliefs to make their own thoughts about the world or actually these knowledges have been existed at the first place, but the humans just simply have not realized/discovered it.

Ethics: This AOK has very similar reason with Religious Knowledge that we cannot be assured that it has been created by the humans, because it can be argued that morals have existed at the first place and we simply discovered the concept of what is morals and ethics.

Therefore, in general, this specific question would be appropriate to be asked in AOKs which tells abstract concepts.

2. What do you make of the term ‘an useful fiction’? To which AOKs do you think this may apply?

I think the definition of the ‘useful fiction’ is the concepts/ideas that may not directly reflect the society, but rather it may be used to interpret what can be said about the society. Math would definitely apply for this category, as its concepts are very abstract and theoretical, which may not directly reflects the society, but its value and its own interpretation is valid enough to reflect the society, as it has been developed through logical deduction and theories. Ethics could be one of possibilities, as its concepts and knowledges may not work in every single cases of the reality, but rather its value and thoughts could be used in different AOKs, such as History or Human Sciences. Therefore, as long as the knowledges are gained in theoretical world and its knowledge are applied in our nature/society, I think any AOK that meets this criterion could possibly be called as ‘an useful fiction’.

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