You said: Hazel, one point I have been trying to make, in a roundabout way, is that understanding the concepts is sufficient.
And there is my answer to my OP. F=ma proves my point. I could not read the equation because I did not know what 'a' stood for. If F=ma were written in words, I would immediately understand the concept because I do know the meaning of 'acceleration'. A OK?
As an addendum - I promise not to stay too long - there is a problem with how equations are solved. I still believe either I and my friend are remembering wrong or the fellow who figured and explained his solution to a certain puzzle is wrong. But I can't prove it.
The story: On another forum, someone solved a riddle. He got a far different answer than I did. I just figured I had forgotten how to solve long, involved equations and let it go.
But, apparently, someone else was also having a problem with the solution. He asked the gentleman to explain how he got his answer, The man did that step by step - what he added first or multiplied first to the end. It was a far different way than how I learned (or thought I'd learned) about equations.
With that I wrote to a friend who had her education about the same time I did but in a different school district in a different state. I asked her to take a look at the thread. She came back to say that isn't how she learned to solve equations. Then she solved it the same way I had done.
Now, either someone was wrong or advanced scientific math is far different from high school math. I am not going to try to judge which.
As for philosophy being math - if you say so. I object. Philosophy is logic. Math is logic. That does not make philosophy math.