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# Does Math Fit With Philosophy?

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My turn?

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.

I'm gone.

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As for philosophy being math - if you say so.  I object.  Philosophy is logic.  Math is logic.  That does not make philosophy math.

Well, I guess I didn't articulate what I was trying to say too well.  I'm really saying the opposite.  Philosophy is NOT math.  And philosophy precedes the math.  Philosophy deals with concepts.  Math deals with numerals.  Two different things.  Nor would I say, as you seem to, that philosophy is logic,  Logic is essential to philosophy, but that is only a part of philosophy.  But I agree that logic can be applied to concepts, with no need for math.

Anyone who has read my posts knows that I have a problem with SR (i.e. special relativity).

It's not a problem with the math, which is completely self-consistent.  But the math isn't the point.  Without going into details, my objection is primarily on philosophical grounds.

When you analyze the implications of SR, you realize that it basically adopts a philosophical stance of solipsism.  This ends up generating all kinds of conceptual inconsistencies and conclusions that are physically impossible.  That's basically because it assumes, as a basic philosophical premise, that the subjective mind determines what is "true" in the external world.

Solipsism, generally speaking, assumes that nothing exists independently of the mind.  The philosophy of "realism," which is antithetical to solipsism, assumes that there is an external reality which exists and operates independently of the mind.

Any debate about solipsism versus realism is not a scientific or mathematical debate.  It is a philosophical one.  As I said, philosophy precedes the math, etc.  I agree with you that philosophy is not math.  Philosophy is fundamental,  Math is secondary.

What I was ultimately trying to convey to you is that you don't need math to understand the concepts, which stem from the philosophy adopted.  Math can never convey the concepts in any meaningful way, so don't think you're missing out on that much if you don't understand the math.

All that said, many believe that physics, and science in general, IS math.  In my opinion they are woefully mistaken.

Edited by Moronium
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How about "is logical" (if done right, of course)?  I have often thought "logical" fit better.  As for SR,  I can only say I agree.  Other than that, I won't even start.

Edited by hazelm
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How about "is logical" (if done right, of course)?  I have often thought "logical" fit better.

Not sure what you're saying (or is it asking) here, Hazel.  Fits better where, or fits better than what?  In what context?

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I'm not sure if this responds to what you're getting at, but logic and math are quite similar in many respects.  I think of math as being "applied logic" (logic as it pertains to numbers).  Logic can also be applied to concepts, facts, or both, which is more like "everyday logic."  Either way, logic serves to check on internal consistency (as math does with numbers).  But, like math, it can tell you nothing about the "real world."

Like math, logic can be perfectly valid from a formal standpoint, but completely wrong from an empirical standpoint.

Example:

1. All mice are 10 feet tall

2.  This animal is a mouse

3.  Therefore, this animal is 10 feet tall.

The logic there is impeccable (valid), but premise #1 is unsound.  The syllogism is logically correct, but the conclusion is false because one of the premises is false.  Even the most absurd arguments can be logically valid (and/or mathematically "correct").

Any theory, MUST be logically consistent.  If it isn't, it must be rejected (or altered).  But being logically consistent can never prove that it's "true."

I don't think that's what you're getting at though. I'm guessing that what you're saying is more like "you can rely on logic, without numbers, to assess whether the conclusions a person claims "follow" from given premises actually do follow."  You will encounter a great number of logical fallacies that might kinda "sound" correct but which, upon close analysis, are logically invalid.  By invalid I just mean that the conclusions drawn do not necessarily follow from the premises given.

Edited by Moronium
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Not sure what you're saying (or is it asking) here, Hazel.  Fits better where, or fits better than what?  In what context?

I had said "math is logic" and "philosophy is logic".  You thought I meant you had said that.  Not, but that's another story.  I simply asked if it would be more accurate to say "math is logical" (adjective).

Sometimes analyzing can be a horribly confusing activity.  <G>

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I simply asked if it would be more accurate to say "math is logical"

Yes, absolutely.

And, contrary to the claims of some, it makes no sense at all to say that "logic is mathematical."

Edited by Moronium
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• 3 weeks later...

Math is applied to "concepts."  If you don't understand the concepts, math formulas will be useless.

Here's a couple of more quotes from good old Al which convey the point I was trying to make to you, Hazel:

I don’t believe in mathematics.  (Albert Einstein)

Since the mathematicians have invaded the theory of relativity, I do not understand it myself anymore.  (Albert Einstein)

The main thing is the content, not the mathematics. With mathematics one can prove anything.  (Albert Einstein)

Again, the point is that you need to pay attention to understanding the concepts (content), not so much the math.  If the concepts don't make sense, then, impeccable as it may be in form, the math never will either.  Don't worry about the math.

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Here's a couple of more quotes from good old Al which convey the point I was trying to make to you, Hazel:

Again, the point is that you need to pay attention to understanding the concepts (content), not so much the math.  If the concepts don't make sense, then, impeccable as it may be in form, the math never will either.  Don't worry about the math.

I like Albert :-)

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Depending on what the topic is. Sometimes to understand some concepts you need math or to make some argument.

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Depending on what the topic is. Sometimes to understand some concepts you need math or to make some argument.

Depending on what the topic is. Sometimes to understand some concepts you need math or to make some argument.

That sounds like something I read just last night.  Was it about David Hume?  Not sure now.  Not important.  For me, concepts - in plain American - I get.  Writing a concept in math?  Sorry.  It's beyond my poor brain.  Who knows?  Maybe, some day, a bright light will flash on but I doubt it.  Meanwhile, I stick with arithmetic and balancing my check book.  Have a good day.

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That sounds like something I read just last night.  Was it about David Hume?  Not sure now.  Not important.  For me, concepts - in plain American - I get.  Writing a concept in math?  Sorry.  It's beyond my poor brain.  Who knows?  Maybe, some day, a bright light will flash on but I doubt it.  Meanwhile, I stick with arithmetic and balancing my check book.  Have a good day.

Maybe when I was referring as math, I was really thinking about logic, But in reality some concepts are better understood with some math in them. Like the laws of motion or the laws of thermodynamics, you can understand the concept but with the formulas, it becomes more clear (and useful) the relationship between the parts of the concept. I admit I don't know any specific uses in philosophy. I assume in certain cases you need the more clear formulas than words to explain correctly or as I said in my other post to use them for an argument.

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Maybe when I was referring as math, I was really thinking about logic, But in reality some concepts are better understood with some math in them. Like the laws of motion or the laws of thermodynamics, you can understand the concept but with the formulas, it becomes more clear (and useful) the relationship between the parts of the concept. I admit I don't know any specific uses in philosophy. I assume in certain cases you need the more clear formulas than words to explain correctly or as I said in my other post to use them for an argument.

I am quite certain that those who understand the application get it fine.  And maybe it is the 'math' vs plain 'arithmetic' which is all I ever had.  Good that I didn't choose a career that demanded that I understand calculus and beyond.

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