Would somebody please interpret this for me?

roranoa
Posts: 588
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:18 am

Would somebody please interpret this for me?

Postby roranoa » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:45 am

" Some thinkers hold that mathematics is a kind of language - a systematic contrivance of signs, the criteria for the authority of which are internal coherence, elegance and depth."

(from PT22 Section 1, RC #4)

I especially don't understand the bold text part.

Would someone help me out plz.

franklinlincoln
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:30 am

Re: Would somebody please interpret this for me?

Postby franklinlincoln » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:49 am

roranoa wrote:" Some thinkers hold that mathematics is a kind of language - a systematic contrivance of signs, the criteria for the authority of which are internal coherence, elegance and depth."

(from PT22 Section 1, RC #4)

I especially don't understand the bold text part.

Would someone help me out plz.


One can judge the authority of the system of signs -- how well it's actually a mathematical law -- by internal coherence (whether it's consistent), elegance (whether it's concise) and depth (whether it applies to a large amount of scenarios -- i.e., it's not limited to only one particular case).

That's my guess, anyway.

User avatar
kittenmittons
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: Would somebody please interpret this for me?

Postby kittenmittons » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:51 am

The systematic contrivance of signs (math) is governed by internal coherence, elegance, and depth and as such could be thought of as a language.

franklinlincoln
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:30 am

Re: Would somebody please interpret this for me?

Postby franklinlincoln » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:52 am

kittenmittons wrote:The systematic contrivance of signs (math) is governed by internal coherence, elegance, and depth and as such could be thought of as a language.


You're totally right.

jnorsky
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:26 pm

Re: Would somebody please interpret this for me?

Postby jnorsky » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:53 am

I dont have the whole question on me, but from the phrase you just gave, it seems totally irrelevant. All it is doing is defining what language is in the context of math. The only part of that statement that has relevance is that some thinkers think math is a language. Or TH -s-> ML.

User avatar
kittenmittons
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: Would somebody please interpret this for me?

Postby kittenmittons » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:54 am

jnorsky wrote:I dont have the whole question on me, but from the phrase you just gave, it seems totally irrelevant. All it is doing is defining what language is in the context of math. The only part of that statement that has relevance is that some thinkers think math is a language. Or TH -s-> ML.


Yeah, also this. Only the first part matters.

User avatar
reasonabledoubt
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Would somebody please interpret this for me?

Postby reasonabledoubt » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:00 pm

roranoa wrote:" Some thinkers hold that mathematics is a kind of language - a systematic contrivance of signs, the criteria for the authority of which are internal coherence, elegance and depth."

(from PT22 Section 1, RC #4)

I especially don't understand the bold text part.

Would someone help me out plz.


The comma is important here, as is how you interpret the word "authority" in this usage. Internal coherence, elegance and depth are the criteria which (in the thinkers' minds) lend math the authority to be held as a kind of language. This "authority" doesn't stand or project on it's own, instead it relies on the criteria which the thinkers use in order to give it authority.

For me this sounds like the thinkers defining a set of reasons (criteria) for why math is a kind of language for them. That's all.

User avatar
theZeigs
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:26 pm

Re: Would somebody please interpret this for me?

Postby theZeigs » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:59 pm

Somewhat unrelated, but I scored so poorly on this RC section. I'm a scientist, and I thought that it was total BS that the "freebie" science RC passage which I normally get was dominated by this soft science crap.

On the other hand, as I thought more and more about what this passage was saying, the more interesting I found it. Does language have an intrinsic meaning? (the author says no) Math, which is a kind of language, therefore has no intrinsic meaning (though this is somewhat of a stretch since mathematics, though comprised of a system of signs and conventions, is universal and universally true: no matter how you want to show 2+2=4, it is true independent of the sign/symbols used). But more generally, if mathematics are an "analogy" for what is actually occurring in the natural sciences, but does not correspond essentially to what is happening (unlike, for example, the Schroedinger wave equation), what value does the math give us and how does it affect future acquisition of scientific knowledge? In other words, how do we let our simplification/analogy/conventions dictate how we acquire knowledge, when the goal of science is to gather knowledge in a way completely free from preconceptions?

Of course, the passage is horribly written and therefore I didn't find it interesting at the time, which would have helped me big time. Also, the main point question of this section was pretty poorly phrased, and it was only by eliminating things wrong with the other four answer choices that I was (mind you, upon review) able to get it correctly.


reasonabledoubt wrote:
roranoa wrote:" Some thinkers hold that mathematics is a kind of language - a systematic contrivance of signs, the criteria for the authority of which are internal coherence, elegance and depth."

(from PT22 Section 1, RC #4)

I especially don't understand the bold text part.

Would someone help me out plz.


The comma is important here, as is how you interpret the word "authority" in this usage. Internal coherence, elegance and depth are the criteria which (in the thinkers' minds) lend math the authority to be held as a kind of language. This "authority" doesn't stand or project on it's own, instead it relies on the criteria which the thinkers use in order to give it authority.

For me this sounds like the thinkers defining a set of reasons (criteria) for why math is a kind of language for them. That's all.


+1 TITCR

roranoa
Posts: 588
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:18 am

Re: Would somebody please interpret this for me?

Postby roranoa » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:23 pm

Thanks everyone!

I have realized that this phrase is not essential to get the questions right but I was just so curious to let it go.

Anyway thanks!




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BobBoblaw, cherrygalore, Pozzo, Ques, Tomthecat and 9 guests