In my 4/26/2008 blog post, “Are Mathematical Truths Discovered or Invented?“, I referred to Dr. Pat Corvini’s superb course at the 2007 OCON as an excellent example of applying the Objectivist epistemology to the concept of number. At the time, the course was not yet available for sale.
As an update – the course is now available for purchase from the Ayn Rand Bookstore. Here’s a slightly modified description of the course, per Dr. Corvini:
Two, Three, Four and All That
Number, though ubiquitous, is widely misunderstood. Drawing on Objectivist epistemology, this course sheds new light on the subject by sketching a reduction of the key ideas behind the modern number system and by showing their connection to cognition in general. Recognizing the objectivity of number provides a new framework for resolving historical and modern debates, and yields a heightened appreciation for the science of mathematics as a whole.
This course uses a detailed examination of the ideas behind counting, negative numbers, and area-measurement as concretes on which to illustrate wider conclusions about the nature of number. While not strictly a prerequisite, this material provides context for Dr. Corvini’s course on modern ideas of number and infinity (“The Sequel,” to be delivered at Objectivist Summer Conference 2008), and is highly recommended for those planning to attend.
According to the Ayn Rand Bookstore, the course is a 6-CD set, selling for $61.95. Total run time is 4 hrs., 29 min., including Q & A.