De la razón matemática – Sebastián Gámez Millán

De la razón matemática – Sebastián Gámez Millán

El legado de Descartes nos enseña que no nos podemos fiar de las autoridades, ni de la tradición, ni de lo que nos cuentan. Tenemos que buscar la certeza –o la probabilidad– a partir de lo que nosotros mismos podemos descubrir. Ninguna de las opiniones establecidas, por autorizadas o respetables que sean quienes la sostienen, nos pueden ofrecer dicha certeza. Los medievales se contentaban citando opiniones de Aristóteles en forma de argumento de autoridad: “Lo dijo el maestro”. Pero a partir de Descartes, que inaugura en no pocos sentidos la modernidad, hay que decir: “No, no basta con la tradición, no basta la autoridad. Es necesario que yo lo descubra, que yo lo experimente. Es necesario someterlo al tribunal de de la razón”.

¿Pero de qué razón hablamos? Como es sabido, Descartes, que fue un gran matemático (descubrió al tiempo que Fermat la “geometría analítica”, que hoy conocemos como “coordenadas cartesianas”) y, junto con Newton, al que le prepara el terreno, el más destacado representante del “mecanicismo moderno”, se inspira en las matemáticas como modelo de conocimiento riguroso, ya que estas no toman nada de la experiencia sensible, de manera que sus deducciones y descubrimientos los extrae de las operaciones mentales.
Un contemporáneo suyo, otro de los más grandes científicos que han existido, Galileo, había declarado: “La filosofía está escrita en ese grandísimo libro que continuamente está abierto ante nuestros ojos (a saber, el universo), pero no puede entenderse si antes no se procura entender su lenguaje y conocer los caracteres en que está escrito. Este libro está escrito en lenguaje matemático, y sus caracteres son triángulos, círculos…”.

El propósito que persigue Descartes cuando pretende liberarse de las tradiciones es, desde un punto de vista cognoscitivo, emancipador, y, de hecho, este es el camino que continúa la Ilustración hasta nuestros días. Pero Descartes descuida que las tradiciones, consciente o inconscientemente, voluntaria o involuntariamente, actúan en nosotros. Y esta idea de que la naturaleza está escrita en lenguaje matemático puede remontarse a Platón e, incluso, a una de sus más poderosas influencias, Pitágoras, para el que “la naturaleza de las cosas es el Número”.

Es dudoso que la naturaleza de las cosas sea el número, pero sin duda los números y el lenguaje de las matemáticas nos permiten por medio de traducciones de signos calcular, conocer y predecir con elevada precisión y exactitud infinidad de fenómenos de nuestro mundo. La razón matemática no es la única razón válida –cuidado con “la razón” y con a qué llamamos “razón”– para descubrir el mundo que nos rodea, pero es imprescindible. Prueba de ello es el papel decisivo que desempeña en tantas disciplinas, desde la física, pasando por la economía, hasta la sociología…

Sebastián Gámez Millán

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Categories: Filosofía

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