[Haskell-cafe] Some philosophy (Was: Alternative name for return)

Jerzy Karczmarczuk jerzy.karczmarczuk at unicaen.fr
Fri Aug 9 17:44:21 CEST 2013

I have the impression that a nice part of our dispute comes from the 
fact that despite our ambitions, and a decent /technical/ level of 
understanding of what we are talking about, most of us are (and I am one 
of the worst...) --

-- pitiful philosophers...

Really bad...
Confusing the contents and the function/role of the entities,
using ambiguous definitions (and confounding objects with their 
et j'en passe.


I decided to reread some philosophical texts, and I suggest one for your 
evening reading.

"Indiscrete Thoughts" by Gian-Carlo Rota, published by Birkhäuser in 
1997. Available on the Web.

Rota was an active *mathematician* and teacher, and the sense of 
mathematical constructs was very important for him. It is a very 
refreshing book, you won't be disappointed.
(It contains also some personal views of Rota on his fellows 
mathematicians. And the analysis of the difference between characters 
who are "problem solvers", as contrasted with "theoreticians"... Rota 
was a strong personality, full of "obsessions", and his ideas on the 
soundness of formal thinking may not convince you, but you should find 
them interesting. And you will find inside that for Rota the term 
"should" is very important, even if it impossible to define...)

Many thanks to Olivier Danvy, who recommended me this book!

Jerzy Karczmarczuk
Caen, France.

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