Interpretation and Mathematics; Recognizing the Interconnected Nature of Human Thought

While discussing philosophy and physics with a friend a few days ago, I was informed (in a rather rudimentary way) that mathematics is the center-point of human education. Having studied the subject for years, and being constantly fascinated with the power that mathematics holds over human intellect, I continued the subject only to discover that my friend’s hypothesis was, in fact, entirely accurate. To be fair to my friend, I didn’t entirely understand his hypothesis (for several highly intellectual reasons) and for a while, I dismissed it as genius that was beyond my comprehension. Suffice it to say, my friend is right; mathematics serves as the basis for every aspect of human education.

Of course, to those who subscribe to the various literary and artistic schools of thought that exist, not to mention those who follow the other humanities and far more social sciences, the mere thought that math is the basis of these theories can seem almost insulting. The truth of the matter, however, is that mathematics serves as the basis for every following train of thought in a strictly 2-Dimensional pathway. That being said, if math can be described as zero on a number line, every other school of thought branches out into the negative and positive integers. To those who don’t know what I’m talking about, math is at the center and everything else merely branched off from it.

Mathematics, up until recently, served as a logical framework, and I mean that in the simplest sense. The numbers one and one cannot add up to anything more than two (again I say, simplified) and cannot be subtracted to form anything other than zero. In this sense, one can reason that mathematics merely proposes a logical backbone to stimulate thoughts. In this fashion, mathematics serves as the hand of logic to answer the questions that branched off as a result; question like “Are we alone in the universe?” “What is the worth of a human being?” “What is purpose?” “What is reason?” and so on and so forth. These questions, incidentally enough, serve as the backbones of two major schools: Philosophy and Physics.

Therein lies the branched correlation; while physics attempts (and will continue to attempt) to answer these questions using mathematics, philosophy proposed a more human solution. Philosophy takes (and will continue to take) a very moral and ethical viewpoint, combining thought and intellect together. Likewise, physics and philosophy are essentially the same subject, albeit with different mediums, and schools of thought. The other reasonable addition to this statement is that physics continued with mathematical logic in mind, while philosophy moved on with human emotion at its core.

It stands to reason that the so-called “Original” philosophers were also mathematicians and scientists; the subject at the core of both of these disciplines is a shared one: mathematics. The theory shared by my friend and I extends beyond once one takes into account that most philosophical teachings have a simplistic “if x, then y” approach. Certainly, even contemporary philosophy continues to attempt to solve the questions that have been at the backbone of human thought with a relatively mathematical approach behind the human core.

Catch-22 logic, coined by Joseph Heller in his 1961 novel Catch-22 is a brilliant example of this. This logical construct states that for one to achieve a goal, they must end up in the same spot from which they started, thereby making it impossible to truly achieve a goal. The example provided within the context of the novel is one that allows an individual to escape flight duty. For one to avoid flying, they must be proven insane by a requested examination. However, the physicians reason that only a sane person would question their sanity, and thusly, only a sane person would request an examination. Therefore, if an individual requests an insanity examination, they must be sane, because only the sane would fear insanity. To truly understand Catch-22 logic, mathematics can be applied using variables to denote each instance as a separate case within the whole set.

Suffice it to say, mathematics is the backbone of human education, there can no longer be any doubt in the minds of the human collective that this is fact. The true question, therefore, becomes: where does this knowledge lead humans, as both highly evolved apes, and as intellectual creatures? The most obvious point is that of inter-connection and correlation. Specifically, every school of thought is connected to another in some way, shape, or form, and as such the only true way to understand one’s own school of thought is by understanding opposing and conflicting ones.

This understanding extends far beyond the simple barriers of science and religion (both share faith as their primary tenement; faith in scientific or theological theory); this understanding reaches the most important core of human learning: that everything is, and always will be, connected. Arts and sciences are merely the same subject perceived from different angles and analyzed from different quadrants. The humanities are not merely the byproduct of general human inquisitiveness, but the desire to search for answers that science itself could not answer. Likewise, sciences are merely the exact devices that provided answers that didn’t satisfy emotion, and so on and so forth. In this regard, the most basic question of “What am I?” when asked to a philosopher or physicist will yield the same answer, but with a different interpretation.

I suppose, when the matter is observed finitely, that is the only logical conclusion: no matter what the question, regardless of the real answer, it’s the interpretation and perception that matters the most. It’s the exact reason that an Avid Blogger can state, in a fool-hardy way, that mathematics is the backbone of human education and more or less get away with it.

As always, this has been your Admin, the Avid Blogger; comment, subscribe, and criticize, and DO remember! Always look on the BYTE side of life!


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