## Should Philosophy Seek Help from Mathematics?

• 2.3k
I mean, Pi and mathematical formulas belong to mathematics. Applied math, the kind the gives us theories, usually belong to physics.

How about math and our understanding of reality? That requires more than being able to add, subtract and do multiplications, and divide. I wish all grade schools introduced children to geometry and the Greek sacred math and went on to explain pi and other wonders of math such as being able to see the invisible. I wish I had better words for the mysteries of math. I can not do advanced math, but we can learn about the amazing things that can be done with math.
• 3k

Sure. Though liking math is something that few people are intuitively attracted to.

One interesting question that arises as a follow-up to yours is, what is math? What does it study? Some structures. It's nebulous territory, hence the appeal of Platonism, which at least tries to give some coherence to the existence of math.

But, you should ask one of the mathematicians here, like jgill or others, who could help you out much more than I ever could.
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what is math? What does it study? — Manuel

An educated guess, math is the study of patterns but wait, that's not all, math also has to explain patterns + numericize/geometrize them when doing so.
• 7.7k
To ask this question for this topic is misplaced. Antinatalism is an ethics argument. As such, argumentation in the form of statements and reasoning will suffice. I think you mean to say that we need to provide mathematical proof to win this argument. No. If anything, that's a charlatan's way of weasling itself into making a point, but really it's just hiding behind numbers because they couldn't articulate their argument properly.

A great point. The antinatalism on the thread about impositions is about when or if it is ever right to create impositions for others if it is not ameliorating a greater harm with a lesser harm. In other words, you are simply creating impositions from scratch. And I defined impositions as a) Forcing one's will onto another and b) creating burdens for others. Procreation falls under both those definitions.

@Agent Smith, so it would be like saying, "Kant thought we should not use people as a means to an ends".. Or perhaps, you should not impose onto others that CAN'T consent, or that CAN'T have a choice. Mainly it was about the idea of "aggressive paternalism".. Is the attitude that one can make decisions for others on significant matters regarding the conditions and limitations that life offers (how to survive, the amount of harms we know about, the amount of unknown harms) for another person ever appropriate? All of these questions are based on some kind of principle and violation of things that we may find morally relevant such as justice, autonomy, dignity, etc. In other words, you can't say, "52% of people might benefit from being used" against a Kantian deontological principle that using people is always violating some kind of categorical imperative or whatnot.
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One interesting question that arises as a follow-up to yours is, what is math? What does it study?

An educated guess, math is the study of patterns but wait, that's not all, math also has to explain patterns + numericize/geometrize them when doing so.

An educated guess, math is the study of patterns but wait, that's not all, math also has to explain patterns + numericize/geometrize them when doing so.

Perfect. Right now schools are teaching math all wrong because it does not deal with those questions and an answer such as Agent Smith provided, the study of patterns. Excite me! I wish everyone would get the book "A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe THE MATHEMATICAL ARCHETYPES OF NATURE, ART, AND SCIENCE" by Michael S. Schneider.

This is not just a study of patterns but also function. Triangles and hexagons have obvious structural functions. The US Republic is a triad, triangle, of checks and balances. Unfortunately, it doesn't work as well today as it once did, but that is another subject, except that it brings out the importance of education and having a shared sense of purpose and goals. But maybe if we held a better understanding of what math has to do with our lives, we would have a better understanding of democracy as rule by reason, and good moral judgment.

lol I need an emoticon of someone standing on a soap box and giving a lecture. Thanks for being tolerant of me and my passion for the greatness of Athens and democracy.

"Geometry existed before the creation." Plato

Monad "You cannot conceive the many without the one... The study of the unit is among those that lead the mind on and turn it to the vision of reality." Plato

Dyad "The opposit is beneficial; from things that differ comes the fairest attunement; all things are born through strife." Heraclitus

Triad "A whole is something that has a beginning< middle and end." Aristotle
"The One engenders the Two, the Two engenders the Three and the three engenders all things." Tao Te Chi'ing

Tetrad "It is hard to be truly excellent, four-square in hand and foot and mind, formed without blemish." Simonides

Pentad It is a frequent assertion of ours that the whole universe is manifestly completed and enclosed by the Dyad, and seeded by the Monad, and it gains movement thanks to the Dyad and life thanks to the Pentad." Iamblichus

"God has established nothing without geometric beauty which was not bound beforehand by some of law of necessity." Johanne Kepler
and all the biblical and Kabalah references to the numbers 6 and 7

Heptad - A regular heptagon cannot be constructed with the geometer's three tools and so is not born like other shapes through the vesica piscis. But an approximate Heptagon is possible to construct. From the Beginner's Guide. There are biblical references to 7 and we can see Plato's notion of nothing being as perfect as things are in a higher realm.

Octad Change has an absolute limit:
This produces two modes;
The two modes produce four forms,
The four forms produce eight trigrams;
The eight trigrams determine fortune and misfortune.
Confucius (commentary on the I Ching)

Ennead The nine worlds of the Odine Mysteries. The Egyptian Ennead, or company of nine gods and the goddesses, represents archetypal principles that regulate and rule the cosmos through the laws of number. The pharaoh came forth from between the thighs of the divine Nine. Egyptian myth

Decad In counting systems world wide, each tenth step begins a new level and recapitulates the whole. Number systems reveal a culture's picture of the cosmos. From the book Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe.

I think there is far more math in our understanding of life and our beliefs than most people realize. This fact of life enflames my anger with Rome and the Roman-Christian destruction of Greek academies which to this day prevents us from knowing the wisdom of the ancients and I include our failure to know and understand Mayan harmonic math in this Roman-caused problem. Rome closed our eyes and turned us from knowledge and when it began one with Christianity that was a sad day for the world.
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But, you should ask one of the mathematicians here, like jgill or others, who could help you out much more than I ever could.

Western minds tend to be closed minds, thanks to Rome. So those who understand stand math as it is taught in the West have valuable information, but we should know they most likely come to the study of math and all other things with closed minds.
• 3k

I'm quite skeptical of forming such far reaching connections between math and "real life", not because we don't use it, most of us do in some form of another, but I don't think geometry, say, can tell us much about complex things like human relations or governments - they are as far apart as possible, concerning the difficulty involved in understanding such things.

Which is not to say that, for example, thinking about triangles has no use in philosophy. Descartes showed, convincingly I think, that we impose the image of a triangle on top of very imperfect data. It's an example of an innate idea. Plato did a similar thing back in his day.

But triangles are among the simplest things we can conceive. Comparing that to a government is like comparing an microbe to a blue whale.

Nevertheless, again, I am limited in what I can say here, it's not my area of expertise at all. These are very general comments.
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But, you should ask one of the mathematicians here, like jgill or others, who could help you out much more than I ever could.

Not worth the effort
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One of the biggest concerns mathematicians have is very few people have a good understanding of math, and this is why I said we are teaching math wrong. By the beginning of high school, students may not have great math skills but they should at least know how math is applied to everything in our lives so they might at least be motivated to learn math. Why would anyone want to learn math? For most people, it is tortuous especially when we get to algebra. Part of the problem is they do not explain to children why they must do all the steps in solving problems so the kids put down the right answer without doing the steps and later when algebra is a requirement they can not do it because they have not learned the steps. Math must be learned one step at a time, and when a student begins failing math, that means the student must go back to previous lessons of learning the steps. The point is, I do not blame you for not knowing things that are not taught.

Math is a very important part of our lives and that includes policy making and government.

What You Need to Know About Becoming a Public Policy Majorhttps://www.usnews.com › Education › Best Colleges
Oct 21, 2020 — Public policy requires an understanding of both of those disciplines as well as an understanding of mathematics and data collection to make ...

Math and psychology

Mathematical psychology is that branch of psychology focusing on the use of mathematical and computational models to explain and predict human behavior. Typical areas of interest are memory, attention, problem solving, perception, decision making, and motor control.Jul 29, 2020

Mathematical Psychology - Oxford Bibliographies
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Not worth the effort

What is not worth the effort?
• 8.1k
That's a lot to process mon ami, a lot!

While metaphysics does contain some exciting numerical (mathematical) aspects, I doubt if they're cornerstone ideas. They seem to be incidental rather than essential. Disappointing, oui?

Nevertheless, a superb post! I owe you one!
• 8.1k
You get my vote on the matter of how life is an imposition - Nobody asked me whether I would like to be born, I just woke up one day and found myself bloody alive, having to work to feed/clothe/shelter myself (not easy, not easy at all), then the visits to the doctor, personal losses, man, I didn't sign up for this!

However, I wouldn't mind if I were born into a rich (and powerful :snicker: ) family. Therein lies the rub, oui monsieur?
• 2.6k
What is not worth the effort?

Competing with the wisdom of the ancients, such as:

Ennead The nine worlds of the Odine Mysteries. The Egyptian Ennead, or company of nine gods and the goddesses, represents archetypal principles that regulate and rule the cosmos through the laws of number. The pharaoh came forth from between the thighs of the divine Nine.
• 7.7k
However, I wouldn't mind if I were born into a rich (and powerful :snicker: ) family. Therein lies the rub, oui monsieur?

• 8.1k

Why not?

The key points we need to address.

1. Nonexistent people (no rights, consent Mu)

2. Possible people (rights? can't consent)

3. Actual people (have rights, can consent)
• 1k
By the beginning of high school, students may not have great math skills but they should at least know how math is applied to everything in our lives so they might at least be motivated to learn math. Why would anyone want to learn math?

Math is a very important part of our lives and that includes policy making and government.

Hi ! Excellent point. The main reason for most people to learn math is probably its central role in science. I don't just mean physics. I mean any science that infers from data. Math helps us decide rationally whether a drug is safe and effective, or (as you mention) whether a policy is safe and effective. It plays a central role in rationality.

How does a society motivate its members to cultivate their rationality? As others have noted, this is an expression of caring for others and not just for oneself. Granted that none of us are angels, how can we create a virtuous circle ?
• 7.7k

There’s a lot of things off here.
1. Being rich does not equal heaven obviously. Though being rich can help make some things easier.
2. It’s not about non existent. It’s about whether it’s ok to make significant impositions on others behalf when it’s not ameliorating greater with lesser harm but simply creating impositions from scratch. Is it ok to choose for others what their set of choices (that life represents) is, the harms they will endure are, and the unknown harms. I claimed no because it takes an attitude of aggressive paternalism that one can assume that these large significant conditions are necessary or proper to decide for others what to endure.
• 2.3k
:fear: Your post is so meaningful to me it makes me cry. Warning I am feeling emotionally insane at the moment but if anyone can help me deal with this insanity it is the people posting here. The point of insanity frequently comes up but I don't have a good word for it, so like Tocqueville, I will attempt to describe it.

On the one hand, we may worship math and science because of the wonders we can achieve with this mathematical and scientific reasoning. On the other hand, we may totally turn our backs on math and science because they can bring us evil and may seem to lack anything that is good about the humanities and religions.

In the past, bureaucratic problems could be resolved by reasoning with the bureaucrat. We were all basically on the same page with the same human reasoning. That is no longer the reality for the technological world we are in now. As the old retire and die we are losing the human consciousness that once defined our democracy. Like we shifted from analog to digital electronics, there is a serious shift in our reasoning. It is no longer the humanities forming our reasoning, but the laws and requirements of math and science.

I have a non-taxable income that is to be disregarded when I apply for any form of government assistance. In the past, all I had to do was explain this and maybe present the letter from the bureaucracy at the federal level, and the bureaucrat disregarded that income. This is no longer true. The requirement has totally changed with a demand for information presented in a form that is acceptable in this technological age validated who I am, what my position is, and the legal explanation of this income being disregarded. To be clear about this, my word is no longer good. The form letter we have used in the past is no longer good enough. I can not even imagine the form that they are demanding so I am turning to an attorney for legal help. The young man handling my request for a hearing could not comprehend I can not get the equivalent of an employee's pay stub from the volunteer organization because no one has thought as the bureaucrats are thinking today.

Technological thinking is demanding proof, whereas in the past we just had human reasoning and social agreements. Today these different modes of thinking are colliding like a very messy train wreck. Every job is divided into the smallest parts and the people doing each part are isolated from the larger organization. All people know is their own little piece of the bigger whole and they are not working together as we did in the past, with the pandemic accelerating this problem! In relative isolation, they turn to technological demands like another mechanical society we defended democracy against. There must be absolute obedience to authority and there is no other way to get through this. Trying to reason with the person making the decisions is suicidal! Wow, will that piss them off and get a very bad result.
and at this point, all hope depends on having a good attorney. Why be so resistant to showing the required proof? Off with your head!

Should we deal with this in philosophy? God, I hope so.
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Hi ! Excellent point. The main reason for most people to learn math is probably its central role in science. I don't just mean physics. I mean any science that infers from data. Math helps us decide rationally whether a drug is safe and effective, or (as you mention) whether a policy is safe and effective. It plays a central role in rationality.

How does a society motivate its members to cultivate their rationality? As others have noted, this is an expression of caring for others and not just for oneself. Granted that none of us are angels, how can we create a virtuous circle ?
Pie

Your first statement is the belief. However, it is even worse than the belief in the gods, because the bureaucrats have real power. I studied public policy and administration at the University of Oregon. After something has gone through the process of social research, it resembles reality as well as a plastic-wrapped stake resembles the cow it came from.

Your second statement is perhaps the most important thing we can talk about right now because we are on the same path as the world war enemy of the allies, to a mechanical society that totally crushes individual authority and power.

How is this cultivated? Replace the humanities with education for technology. How we think depends 100% on how we are taught to organize our logical thinking and the conceptual thinking we learn. The young of our technological society have been trained to think in terms of proves and reliance on AUTHORITY. That manifests a very different culture than the one coming out of the humanities and religion.
• 2.3k
Why not?

The key points we need to address.

1. Nonexistent people (no rights, consent Mu)

2. Possible people (rights? can't consent)

3. Actual people (have rights, can consent)

Excuse me, but if you do not have the right proves to validate your eligibility, the only right you have in some cases is the right to a hearing, and if you don't have an attorney you are screwed. And in other cases, you have no rights at all.

Money is also helpful. Today a young paraplegic requiring medical help has been thrown out of the hospital with a sleeping bag and he will be sleeping on the streets somewhere. Good luck sucker. This is America the wealthiest country in the world and we are great. The marginalized people do not count. Surely this is not what you mean by people who have rights and those who don't?
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jgill
2.2k
What is not worth the effort?
— Athena

Competing with the wisdom of the ancients, such as:

Ennead The nine worlds of the Odine Mysteries. The Egyptian Ennead, or company of nine gods and the goddesses, represents archetypal principles that regulate and rule the cosmos through the laws of number. The pharaoh came forth from between the thighs of the divine Nine.
— Athena

I love your reply! I am not sure of your meaning or why you quoted me about the Egyptian Ennead but given the greater discussion, I delight in pondering how the Egyptian Ennead is different from how we think of number 9 today. Today we no longer think of numbers having a sacred meaning, do we? We don't know what they have to do with the laws of nature do we?

I wish I had found this information when the subject was the trinity.

The Archetypal Synergies
1. Associations and Manifestations
The energies represented by the various neteru (gods/ goddesses) rarely function individually, but are often allied or fused with other neteru (gods/goddesses). The union of certain pairs of complementary energies/attributes (masculine and feminine forms) results in a third energy/attribute. Trinities are sometimes portrayed together as a single composite entity; sometimes separately and sometimes in binary form.

In human terms, a family consists of a man, a woman, and a child. The three are one unit—a family. There are also binary relationships such as: husband–wife (marriage), father–child (fatherhood), and mother–child (motherhood).

Egyptian deities are connected in a complex and shifting array of relationships. A neter’s connections and interactions with other deities helps define its character. Such relationships were the base material from which Egyptian allegories were formed.

A distinction must be made between associations of deities and manifestations of a neter principle into other neteru’s principles/forms. For example, it is wrong to assume that Re-Sebek is an association of two deities. When we realize what Re REPRESENTS, then we can figure out that Re-Sebek is the manifestation of the creation force [being Re] into the Sebek form/aspect. As mentioned earlier, the Litany of Re shows his manifestation into 75 forms/aspects.

Synergetic combinations were not permanent. A neter/netert who was involved in one combination continued to appear separately and formed new combinations with other deities.

The combined synergies are basically found in dual, triple, octad and ennead combinations, to be detailed as follows:
?
• 1k
How is this cultivated? Replace the humanities with education for technology. How we think depends 100% on how we are taught to organize our logical thinking and the conceptual thinking we learn.

It seems we agree on the important of the humanities. A good citizen needs critical thinking and historical awareness. A mere cog in the machine, however, needs only a set of a skills. I've been reading Howard Zinn's history lately, and the presence or absence of class consciousness looks central to me. Am I to be merely a monkey pulling levers as directed ? Or an enlightened, autonomous being working with others to build a just and happy society? Certain politicians and oligarchs would rather me be the former, surely.
• 1k
In the past, bureaucratic problems could be resolved by reasoning with the bureaucrat. We were all basically on the same page with the same human reasoning. That is no longer the reality for the technological world we are in now. As the old retire and die we are losing the human consciousness that once defined our democracy. Like we shifted from analog to digital electronics, there is a serious shift in our reasoning. It is no longer the humanities forming our reasoning, but the laws and requirements of math and science.

This is a good description of us fitting ourselves to our own machines, become their obedient robots. It's easy to imagine AI playing larger and larger role. It's my understanding that banks already loan or not according to algorithmic decisions, and someone might joke about the replacement of juries (trained on transcripts of previous trials and associated verdicts.)
• 1k
Today a young paraplegic requiring medical help has been thrown out of the hospital with a sleeping bag and he will be sleeping on the streets somewhere. Good luck sucker. This is America the wealthiest country in the world and we are great. The marginalized people do not count.

• 2.3k
It seems we agree on the important of the humanities. A good citizen needs critical thinking and historical awareness. A mere cog in the machine, however, needs only a set of a skills. I've been reading Howard Zinn's history lately, and the presence or absence of class consciousness looks central to me. Am I to be merely a monkey pulling levers as directed ? Or an enlightened, autonomous being working with others to build a just and happy society? Certain politicians and oligarchs would rather me be the former, surely.Pie

Please go to this thread about our ID and how to have a better society. Some people's utopia is another person's hell. https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/13274/doing-away-with-absolute-indiscerniblity-and-identity

I think you truly have a better understanding of what is important than some people. :grin: But how much fun would we have if everything was absolute and we had no reason to argue from our different perspectives? It is a big step between identifying ourselves with our human relationships or with numbers and thinking of numbers as sacred or as cold lifeless things useful for recording information or making predictions.
• 2.3k
This is a good description of us fitting ourselves to our own machines, become their obedient robots. It's easy to imagine AI playing larger and larger role. It's my understanding that banks already loan or not according to algorithmic decisions, and someone might joke about the replacement of juries (trained on transcripts of previous trials and associated verdicts.)Pie

I had no idea how important @Agent Smith's question is. I don't think we are going in the direction of the expected discussion, but I am seeing a lot of importance starting with no longer seeing numbers as sacred to no longer having a sacred notion of humans. I stand against all the God of Abraham religions, but now I am seeing the Beast and I have a sense of horror.
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Today a young paraplegic requiring medical help has been thrown out of the hospital with a sleeping bag and he will be sleeping on the streets somewhere. Good luck sucker. This is America the wealthiest country in the world and we are great. The marginalized people do not count.
— Athena

Pie

Trying to get us to the topic of math and philosophy. Today it matters what we measure and what measurements have to do with public policy. Maybe we should not be divided between those who have made math and science their God and those who have not because we are butting heads. I think a lot may rest on if we see numbers as sacred or not. If we have no sense of awe and no reverence could we go in the wrong direction?
• 2.6k
Maybe we should not be divided between those who have made math and science their God and those who have not because we are butting heads

I see a more divisive conflict between right-wing Republicans and left-wing Democrats.

So those who understand stand math as it is taught in the West have valuable information, but we should know they most likely come to the study of math and all other things with closed minds.

Not my experience at all. But if you mean entertaining the wisdom of the ancients, like this:

A distinction must be made between associations of deities and manifestations of a neter principle into other neteru’s principles/forms. For example, it is wrong to assume that Re-Sebek is an association of two deities

Yes, perhaps of interest as part of history, but nonsense nevertheless.
• 1k
But how much fun would we have if everything was absolute and we had no reason to argue from our different perspectives?

Excellent point. We need space to wiggle around in, within which we enjoy the drama of self-realization. There's no light without darkness.
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I still do not think that an act that isn't dragging one away from a state they had a prior interest in towards a negative one can be called an imposition. However, if it can be deemed to be one, then I think that many would also be glad that they were able to have a life wherein they could love, appreciate beauty, and discover new things. Being rich does not always bring happiness, just as being poor does not always create misery. Where I live, many content people are often those who lack a lot of material comforts. Perhaps it's a matter of having the right perspective. The good will always remain relevant. I believe that exact mathematical models cannot be created easily when it comes to something as complex and variegated as the sentient experience. Nevertheless, it does seem apparent that most people seem to value their lives and continue to hope for happiness instead of seeking the void. Above all, it is important, I think, to not have an absolutist position here and implement policies that can address people's concerns, such as a liberal right to a graceful exit and the wise use of technology to minimise suffering (David Pearce would probably like that).

Edit: I should add that I do agree that we should carefully consider the probability of a good outcome stemming from our actions. We might not be able to know everything, but one's socio-economic conditions alongside the general state of well-being in one's vicinity can at least serve as useful indicators of what one might escape. There are some people who think that life is always good, which is something I do not agree with.

Also, darkness is the absence of light. Darkness and light exist concurrently but the latter does not need the former for its existence. Nevertheless, sometimes appreciation of a good (which is distinct from its existence) can be aided by contrast.

I hope everyone here has a nice day!
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