Last week’s DIE ZEIT has a huge title in its front page “Philosophen entdecken das Gefühl” (“Philosophers discover the Feeling”) with a crying Plato bust, and claims that there is a shift from “the brain” to “the heart” among philosophical research.
The article made me think further what I always wondered: is it the case that the more you are in the business of research in philosophy the less rigour you seek or whether it is because of the times we live in, the less logical rigour is being sought after in general? (The times we live in: very roughly we can say, in one sense-“after Gödel” – where a logical system can never be good enough for itself/ or in another sense the times that the interest in eastern philosphy by masses increased)
My utmost interests have always been mathematical objects and mathematical reasoning since the times I took the path of philosophy after studying mathematics. When I first started my research in MA, I was trying to explain numbers by logical formulations. Even my PhD thesis claimed in the beginning that we can give a purely logical explanation for numbers as Frege claimed in 1884 and similar to what Frege admitted in 1924, I had to conclude at the end that we need something other than logic in mathematics in my PhD thesis. Now I use visual explanations, non-logical but objective communication tools (still controversial), the innate ability to form geometrical propositions (only used in cognitive tests) to explain mathematical objects and mathematical reasoning. So, either because of the Zeitgeist I changed my direction and am convinced this time for real that logic will not be enough to explain the actual mathematical reasoning and objects, or because I and many tried and failed to prove that there was a logical way to explain them which, I guess, kind of contributes to the the Zeitgeist anyway.
I am wondering about your experiences and thoughts: If you started with the analysis of rigorous foundations did you question this motivation later on? Do you think it’s about the years spent in this area or the times we live in that forces us to leave the defined logical rigour? Or do you think at all that there is a tendency for leaving the defined logical rigour?