Emma asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 5 years ago

If you are very very weak in maths but very interested in philosophy does it mean philosophy is not for you? Just because of maths? :(?

Students study philosophy of mathematics and logic too and these subjects are compulsory. :(

Thank you!

10 Answers

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you are patient with yourself, logic and illogic (fallacies) of fairly rudimentary quality are a basis of "epistemology," or how we claim we know. Descartes is an example (Leibniz, Kant, Frege, Godel, Husserl, and Whitehead are additional good examples) of a mathematician who sought epistemological certitude, doing good thinking aka philosophy.

    It is clear that no logical system of any worldly strength/complexity is complete (Godel's incompleteness theorems, Von Neumann, et al.). So, to answer your question: there are many axiomized (therefore preferential) systems of thought (often termed "philosophies"), and if you have personal interests/preferences, you need only employ basic logic (which is the basis of maths, which are also axiomized systems of thinking) as a "quality assurance" vis a vis your systemization. (Some philosophers, e.g. Nietzsche, aren't particularly systematic, and some systems of thinking, e.g. some Taoist philosophers who wrote about "self-knowledge" as the basis of Taoist philosophy, ~ likewise.)

    If you're interested in majoring in philosophy, you particularly might benefit by finding equivalent logic requirement courses in an easier milieu, e.g. a community college, and taking the requirement there.

    It is worth noting that some modern philosophers (e.g., Deleuze and Badiou) have been very involved with maths (cf Deleuze's "Difference and Repetition," a kind of post-Hegelian move towards mathematics-as-philosophy: a quote here showing where graduate-level (or even advanced undergraduate) study in philosophy is at for at least two generations (this is Deleuze on Leibnizian monadicity: "The 'jump' of the variable across the domain of discontinuity between the poles of two analytic functions, which actualizes the Weierstrassian potential function in the infinite branches of the Poincarean composite function, corresponds to what Leibniz refers to in his impulse account of accelerated motion as the unextended 'leap' made by a body in motion from the end of one subinterval to the *locus proximus*, the indistant but distinct beginning point of the next interval, which marks a change in the direction and velocity of the moving body")). It is imho not worth commenting here on Badiou's neo-platonic idealism re maths ("Being and Event," which stands in correlation with Heidegger's "Being and Time," Sartre's "Being and Nothingness," and Sloterdijk's two-volume "Spheres"), which idealism is in contradistinction to Deleuze's perspective (e.g., Badiou is working with Cantor's explicit (i.e., self-described) Platonism in Cantor's fundamental set theory work, whereas Deleuze is more interested in comparing analytic transformations of Riemann spaces (fundamental to general relativity) as perspectival versus the Humean distinction of irreconcilable perspectives per Poincare transformations of Riemannian space (Poincare, after Einstein and Whitehead, was ~ closest to deriving general relativity).

    For a general introduction to such modern philosophies, Albert Lautman, a brilliant philosopher-mathematician, is the source for much of early Deleuze and Badiou ("Mathematics, Ideas, and the Physical Real").

    Would note that much self-awareness as philosophy is more attuned with Self-realization ("Autobiography of a Yogi," "Light Is a Living Spirit," "The Answer You're Looking for Is inside You," "Beams from Meher Baba," "Return to the One: Plotinus's Guide to God-Realization"), whereas the last 120 or so years of Western philosophy are much different (at least superficially) than personalist preferences (cf the sources noted above).

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    It depends on what sort of mathematics you have in mind.

    High school math courses usually involve a lot of repetitive practice with simple problems which culminate into vomiting a solution procedure on the day of the exam. It sleodm requires you to actually bother trying to fgure out why the solution procedure your teacher presents works, how the person or persons who first stumbled upon this procedure got to provide this solution, etc. The interesting part of mathematics is completely left out, or mostly left out and since those courses never involve anything even remotely complicated, the applied problems are completely out of touch with reality...

    Who's to tell that if you can't learn how to vomit properly the same stew your teacher had others vomit as well that you oculdn't do better once they actually bothered picking your brain? Trying to produce a viable answer out of a system to which you can hardly relate in any sensible way is not simple -- and, if you don't bother to dig in a bit, it's hard to relate to most of high school mathematics. Mindlessly applying rules is about the most idiotic way to train people -- yet it probably is what you tried to learn.

    Now, logic. That part is ALWAYS a part of philosophy, although you will eventually learn that it is not logic, but logic(s) -- i.e., there are many systems of logic, although first order predicative logic is the one most people invoke. Your performance as a skilled monkey to write back what your teacher wrote weeks ago on exam day might not matter much here. What will matter is your ability to picture the arguments in your mind, to tie the knots and, more often than not, play a bit with the information you're being given. If you do even more logic, you'll get to make formal demonstrations in various approaches and dicuss the interests of using such methods, what they highlight, etc

    That part looks a lot like a college level mathematics course, especially axiomatic approaches to logic -- you start with axioms, definitions and rules of inference to demonstrate laws or, combining the system with empirical hypotheses, deriving a formal expression for a scientific hypothesis. However, do not be afraid: professors usually start slow with diagrams and the simplest expressions to get you to understand the stuff intuitively and visually before moving on to more abstract representations.

    Also, there is more to philosophy than the philosophy of science, logic and the philosophy of mathematics.

  • 5 years ago

    Philosophy contains a great deal of logic. The heart of logic is maths. You might struggle with traditional academic philosophy if your maths is truly very weak

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    The only philosopher I can think of who thought mathematic skill was necessary for philosophy was Plato. Who showed no such skill himself.

    Math would definitely be a benefit for the Philosophy of Logic though...because math is just a specialized form of logic.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 5 years ago

    If you are very very weak in maths but very interested in philosophy does it mean philosophy is not for you? Just because of maths? :(?

    Students study philosophy of mathematics and logic too and these subjects are compulsory. :( Thank you!

    ~~~ Math is imaginary!

    You do not need any 'math' to be a genius philosopher (not that you can 'learn' that)!

    Philosophy is predominately "original critical thought"!

    All sciences, all means of Knowing, are feeder branches on the tree of philosophy.

    So any 'philosopher' worth the name is conversant with cutting edge science (quantum mechanics), and, at times, ahead of the cutting edge... hanging ten! *__-

    There are 'grunts' who do the math to help validate (or invalidate) our theories, so I don't need to do it.

    "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

    -- Albert Einstein

    Quoted in J R Newman, The World of Mathematics

    Philosophy deals in Reality!

    It's technician stuff!

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Logic is very different from traditional mathematics, it isn't as hard.

    I reccomend you search propositional logic on youtube

    It'll seem daunting at first as its all new but stick with it.

    Source(s): Physics & Philosophy student @ uni
  • 5 years ago


  • 5 years ago

    All of philosophy is not logic.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    No. It's not like it's astronomy.

  • 5 years ago


Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.