# The Legitimacy of Mathematics

How do we know when an equation can be solved? If the syntax (or signs used in the equation) is legitimate - if it “looks” mathematical, then isn’t it necessarilly mathematical?

This means that mathematics is legitimate syntax.

But mathematics doesn’t tell us whether or not its syntax is legitimate. It must seek further grounds for legitimacy.

Thus, and mark this well - because it is a surprise to me as much as might be to you: Mathematics is a contingent element in the ad infinitum of legitimacy.

Mind if I put that on a T-shirt?

No amount of ill placed jargon will change the fact that the legitimacy of mathematics comes from it’s being derivable from analytic axioms.

“looks mathematical” “this means mathematics is legitimate snytax”

What the fuck are you talking about man? Are you just pulling this stuff out of your ass?

he is, smears, that’s precisely what he’s doing.

Jared Loughner:
"What is wrong or right with the current date?

How is the current date right or wrong?

Why is or isn’t this the date?

When is or isn’t the date ending or beginning?

Today is July 7th 2010.

Why is the year infinite in the date?

Example:
Today is July 7th 201062010654843578465784151015954324841895498201065484357846578415101595432484189549820106548435784657841510159543248418954982010654843578465784151015 954324841895498201065484357846578415101595432484189549820106548435784657841510159543248418954982010654843578465784151015954324841895498201065484357846 578415101595432484189549820106548435784657841510159543248418954982010654843578465784151015954324841895498201065484357846578415101595432484189549820106 548435784657841510159543248418954982010654843578465784151015954324841895498201065484357846578415101595432484189549820106548435784657841510159543248418 954982010654843578465784151015954324841895498201065484357846578415101595432484189549820106548435784657841510159543248418954982010654843578465784151015 954324841895498201065484357846578415101595432484189549820106548435784657841510159543248418954982010654843578465784151015954324841895498548435784657841 51015954324841895498

This will or will not continue in year for how long?

What are the viewers thoughts of a infinite year? "

Any similarities? Am I guilty if I don’t ensure John Jones is committed and he goes out and shoots 30 people? What do we do? I feel like I am in this predicament.

I think he’s been reading that Colin Leslie Dean.

That’s a fantastic idea. I will do that myself.

If something (signs, syntax) looks mathematical then it IS mathematical. This means that mathematics is a form of legitimated syntax.

That’s pretty bloody obvious.

Check it out.

I made one that says, “empiricists do it a posteriori”

“If it looks like a date then it IS a date. But is it the RIGHT date?”
Similarly,
“If it looks like mathematics then it IS mathematics. But is it the right mathematics?”

There can’t be a right and a wrong mathematics.
THEREFORE,
If something looks mathematical then it need not be mathematical.
So mathematics is NOT legitimate syntax. It’s legitimacy must come from somewhere else, from where what counts as being “right”.

Suppose hypothetically your Uncle dies and leaves 90% of his estate to you in his will…and 10% to your cousin. The estate totals \$1,000,000. Suppose the cousin tries to convince you that 90% of \$1,000,000 is \$1,000. Will you check his math? What will the math here be contingent upon? And how does “the ad infinitum of legitimacy” factor into it?

I am not saying that mathematics can, or cannot, work something out. I am saying that the syntax of mathematics is prone to error or incoherence -as can be found in unknowingly-unsolvable equations.

I am arguing for a distinction between mathematics and its syntax!

Now arguing for a distinction between math and it’s syntax seems interesting.

How do you suppose that should be done?

God knows. We would have to find a way of finding out whether or not an equation is solvable - is mathematical - just by looking at its syntax. There is no study that can help us do that, nor do I see how one could ever be formulated.

And I am not saying this is not true. I am only curious regarding how our lives would be any different had no one ever pointed it out.

Make a few distinctions “out in the world” please. Why, for example, is it, say, for all practical purposes, important that this distinction be made? And how well does syntax translate into distinctions made between what some do and what some say they ought to do instead?

Syntax already fails us when we use pi in an equation, for we resort to the non-mathematical procedure of establishing a numerical limit for pi (pi has no numerical limit).

Also, if we take the equation (I think it was) x cubed plus y cubed = z cubed, how do we know if it is a mathematical statement? Only if it is solvable. Therefore, what looks mathematical (i.e. syntax) isn’t necessarilly mathematical. But how can we tell just by looking at the syntax? Thus the split between maths and maths syntax.

Aside from the fact your rejoinder has absolutely nothing to do with mine, I agree. But I do not agree that has anything to do with whatever it is we disagree about. Mathematically, it’s the equivalent of 1 + 1 = pi cubed.

Did you perchance major in non sequitors in college? I majored in irony myself.