I hope the MU puzzle didn’t discourage too many of you from continuing to read this book (see here for explanation of what we are doing and here for a schedule). I’m going to assume it was a busy weekend and people just didn’t get around to posting anything about the last section. That’s ok. Let’s continue on.

Current Assignment: Thursday, September 17
Read: Two-Part Invention and Chapter II: Meaning and Form in Mathematics
Listen: Two-Part Invention in C major (BWV 772)

Summary of Chapter II:
A new formal system (the pq-system) is presented, even simpler than the MIU-system of Chapter I. Apparently meaningless at first, its symbols are suddenly revealed to possess meaning by virtue of the form of the theorems they appear in. This revelation is the first important insight into meaning: its deep connection to isomorphism. Various issues related to meaning are then discussed, such as truth, proof, symbol manipulation, and the elusive concept, “form.”

Discussion Questions:
What is the difference between meaning in a formal system and meaning in a human language?

What is the difference between active and passive meaning?

For those of you silently reading/skimming along, don’t get discouraged about all this mathematics stuff. We’re just laying a foundation for the meatier discussions to come. I’m hoping you will start to see connections to other areas of study and life.

Up Next: For Monday, September 21
Read: Sonata for Unaccompanied Achilles and Chapter III: Figure and Ground
Listen: Sonata No. 1 for solo violin: Adagio (BWV 1001). Anyone know where to find an accompanied version of this?

2 thoughts on “

  1. cbovell

    Swamped with work, don’t know if I can catch up…

    I was thinking maybe I can get to the puzzle over the weekend and then post…or is that not allowed?

  2. Karyn Post author

    Please feel free to jump in where you can and post as you are able. I think we are all swamped. The interest is there for all of us, but our inboxes keep distracting us!

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