Pythagoras thought he had discovered the key to universe: mathematics. Was Pythagoras right? Should we see mathematics as the ultimate character of the world or is this a limited vision?As Peter Woit points out:
An interesting debate, but maybe they should have had some mathematicians involved…Physicist Lee Smolin accepts Pythagoreanism, but rejects Max Tegmark's Mathematical universe hypothesis. He implies that most people agree with him.
My FQXi essay expresses a contrary view.
The video server was buggy, so I could only watch part of it. The arguments seemed weak to me.
To give an idea of the philosophical ideas of the speakers, here is Peter Hacker:
Peter Hacker is one of the most powerful contemporary exponents of the linguistic-therapeutic approach to philosophy pioneered by Ludwig Wittgenstein. In this approach, the words and concepts used by the language community are taken as given, and the role of philosophy is to resolve or dissolve philosophical problems by giving an overview of the uses of these words and the structural relationships between these concepts. Philosophical inquiry is therefore very different from scientific inquiry, and Hacker maintains accordingly that there is a sharp dividing line between the two: "Philosophy is not a contribution to human knowledge, but to human understanding"And Hilary Lawson:
Lawson's theory 'Closure' proposes that the human condition is to find ourselves on the cusp of openness and closure. The world is open and we, along with other living organisms, are able to apprehend and make sense of it through the process of closure. The theory, described by Don Cupitt as the first attempt to offer a non-realist metaphysics shifts the focus of philosophy away from language and towards an exploration of the relationship between openness and closure. An important element of the theory of closure is its own self-referential character.I am sure these guys do not have anything serious to say about math or science.