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Should not be read alone
on November 14, 2007
Hume is over-rated. He skirts between the obvious and the incorrect. He asserts that geometry and math are unreal or analytical, to use a technical term, as opposed to real or synthetic. He is right about Euclidian geometry, but not math. Math is not analytical but synthetic.
While the proposition (a = b therefore b = a) is analytical, as it is a definition, from which (c = b therefore c = a) may be derived.
The initial proposition is a definition, not any type of observation. The conclusion is a derivation from the definition, not an observation.
But, (1 + 1 = 2) is an observation, synthetic knowledge. The ability to count is derived from the initial thing counted; it is not a mere definition. Were Hume correct, an analytical proposition could be used to establish a synthetic reality, which is impossible.
v = f(x) where v is variation and f means a function and x is a value.
It is a concept, analytical, saying nothing about reality. If you add reality: v being variation in gender of an human individual and w being weight. Gender does not alter because weight changes. But if you say v is weight and x is age, there will be a change in weight with age.
If the analytical could prove the synthetic, existance would become a true predicate.