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What is the most fundamental subject?

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    (Original post by AtomSmasher)
    Maths, obviously. The only thing that precedes it is logic itself which is rarely studied as a subject anyway. Without maths there is no Physics, which means no Chemistry, which means no biology, which means no medicine (and neuroscience). In that sense it's the most fundamental, but it's possible to argue that philosophy is but it isn't very important now and as a subject it isn't really necessary. It's the ideas and curiosity about the world that is part of philosophy that's an important prerequisite for the sciences and maths.

    Fun Fact: Starting on any Wikipedia page at all, if you click the first link that isn't in brackets/quotation marks and keep following these links, you eventually get to the page 'Philosophy'. Works every time.
    but sometimes you get stuck in a loop, because of the circular references
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    I'd have to say philosophy, then mathematics second.
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    maths is the language of the universe and science, it's how we interpret everything

    but fundamentally, (coming from a humanities student) physics.



    p.s i might give philosophy a bit of love once my tedious exams are over
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    Maths or philosophy I guess.
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    (Original post by cgraham15)
    The most important base subject is English. Everybody needs to know how to read and write, however not everyone needs to go on to study novels and poems at university. But still English is important to keep the country literate.
    For practical living I agree, however, considor this...

    To speak English to an ET makes no sense at all, as chances are that communications in an alien species is so far removed from our own.

    But the chances are if the ET has any sort of technology they have some mathmatical undersanding through geometry.
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    (Original post by AtomSmasher)
    Maths, obviously. The only thing that precedes it is logic itself which is rarely studied as a subject anyway. Without maths there is no Physics, which means no Chemistry, which means no biology, which means no medicine (and neuroscience). In that sense it's the most fundamental, but it's possible to argue that philosophy is but it isn't very important now and as a subject it isn't really necessary. It's the ideas and curiosity about the world that is part of philosophy that's an important prerequisite for the sciences and maths.

    Fun Fact: Starting on any Wikipedia page at all, if you click the first link that isn't in brackets/quotation marks and keep following these links, you eventually get to the page 'Philosophy'. Works every time.
    I have to agree, and on a side note, wow, it works (well, only one trial but can't be bothered doing more ), although if you get in a loop (which there is bound to be somewhere?) and i was nearly close to it.

    Poonamallee > Tamil Nadu > States and territories of India > India > South Asia > South > Noun > Linguistics > Science > Knowledge > Fact > Experience > Concept > Philosophy (clicking Philosophers)
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    (Original post by GottaLovePhysics! :))
    Anyone who puts "Comp Sci" needs their head seeing too!


    (Also most fundamental subjects is clearly AS psycology)

    TLDR;

    One of my favourite quotes: "telescopes are to astronomy what computers are to computer science." You can use telescopes to watch the girl next door get undressed, but that doesn't mean astronomy is about breasts. :rolleyes: Likewise for computer science, which is about things that can be calculated and the bounds of computation in mathematics.


    Ever heard of the Turing-Church thesis? This is a computer science thesis about the nature of functions which are calculable, which was proved by Turing to be equivalent to Godel's incompleteness theorem. For those who don't know, Godel's theorem states that mathematics is either incomplete or inconsistent; that there are facts in mathematics that are true and can never be proved to be so.

    So computer science actually gets round to exploring the boundaries of what is possible in mathematics, and what is calculable by a mind, machine or anything else for that matter.

    There is also the argument of verificationalist mathematicians that mathematics is only what we can verify to be true- and that all the truths of mathematics can be represented in our minds or as paper proofs. Then, with a bit of abstraction, computers as turing machines can be considered to be the most perfect and simple representation of what the mind can do, the thing from which all mathematics emerges. And so one can arguably say that computer Science is more fundamental than mathematics. However I am not a verificationalist, so I would not go that far.

    I don't know about you- but all of the above sounds pretty damned fundamental to me. However, I think it's silly to say which of maths, physics, computer science, philosophy is more fundametal as they are all exploring different domains of problem, each most fundamental in its own right. Physics studies nature. Mathematics studies a world of pure forms that in some sense is removed from nature (Platonism). Computer science is exploring which mathematical problems are soluble by a physical machine- which in some sense bridges both mathematics and physics: both exploring numbers and physical reality.

    But yes, you were one of those who probably thought that computer science was just about removing viruses from computers. Computer Science was originally a particular branch of mathematics, and that is still at the core of the subject (despite having got the word computer in it's name). However as the subject grew and grew, it became what we know to be computer science.

    Edit: You are also a tool.
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    I'd say Philosophy, just because it questions and alters the foundations of every other subject.

    (Furthermore, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan get stuck in a Wikipedia loop. Legends. )
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    (Original post by AtomSmasher)
    Maths, obviously. The only thing that precedes it is logic itself which is rarely studied as a subject anyway. Without maths there is no Physics, which means no Chemistry, which means no biology, which means no medicine (and neuroscience). In that sense it's the most fundamental, but it's possible to argue that philosophy is but it isn't very important now and as a subject it isn't really necessary. It's the ideas and curiosity about the world that is part of philosophy that's an important prerequisite for the sciences and maths.

    Fun Fact: Starting on any Wikipedia page at all, if you click the first link that isn't in brackets/quotation marks and keep following these links, you eventually get to the page 'Philosophy'. Works every time.
    You troll! - i just kept going around in circles through the same few pages!

    I guess just because you're preceding paragraph sounded clever i shouldn't believe everything you say
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    (Original post by Raiden10)
    Federer
    Tennis
    Sport
    Physical Activity
    Humans
    Biology
    Science
    Knowledge
    Philosophy

    Therefore Roger Federer depends on philosophy for his success? :hmmm:
    Haha I was just saying how it's cool that the wikipedia thing worked. If I were to answer the question, I'm with maths all the way
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    Philosophy then Logic then Mathematics then Physics...
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    Is it not obvious!? Media Studies.
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    (Original post by AtomSmasher)
    Maths, obviously. The only thing that precedes it is logic itself which is rarely studied as a subject anyway. Without maths there is no Physics, which means no Chemistry, which means no biology, which means no medicine (and neuroscience). In that sense it's the most fundamental, but it's possible to argue that philosophy is but it isn't very important now and as a subject it isn't really necessary. It's the ideas and curiosity about the world that is part of philosophy that's an important prerequisite for the sciences and maths.

    Fun Fact: Starting on any Wikipedia page at all, if you click the first link that isn't in brackets/quotation marks and keep following these links, you eventually get to the page 'Philosophy'. Works every time.
    That is actually true. :teehee:
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    Hoe is philosophy the most fundamental according to 24 people? I dont think a single state school in my county teach it. Hardly a sort after subject, in fact ive never seen a uni specifically ask for it or even say its a sort after subject like most of the core convential ones.
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    Medicine
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    (Original post by AtomSmasher)
    Maths, obviously. The only thing that precedes it is logic itself which is rarely studied as a subject anyway. Without maths there is no Physics, which means no Chemistry, which means no biology, which means no medicine (and neuroscience). In that sense it's the most fundamental, but it's possible to argue that philosophy is but it isn't very important now and as a subject it isn't really necessary. It's the ideas and curiosity about the world that is part of philosophy that's an important prerequisite for the sciences and maths.

    Fun Fact: Starting on any Wikipedia page at all, if you click the first link that isn't in brackets/quotation marks and keep following these links, you eventually get to the page 'Philosophy'. Works every time.
    Wow, this actually works. I got from "Merry Christmas in London" to "Philosophy".
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    philosophy, obviously. why anyone would suggest otherwise quite escapes me. nothing would exist without the notion of existence itself, and the ability to question it.
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    (Original post by AverageExcellence)
    Hoe is philosophy the most fundamental according to 24 people? I dont think a single state school in my county teach it. Hardly a sort after subject, in fact ive never seen a uni specifically ask for it or even say its a sort after subject like most of the core convential ones.
    Yes, because if nothing else the current education system is the definitive guide to the merits of different subjects.
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    The only two subjects studied at ancient greek universities were Music and Gymnastics.


    So rhythmic gymnastics is clearly the most fundamental thing to be learning about.
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    (Original post by keyboard-warrior)
    I included the other two questions because some people here were saying that logic is the foundation of maths (which is true), so I thought it'd be appropriate to include them.

    You have a point, the question ''what is maths'' can also be studied in maths, but what I'm saying is that philosophy includes that as well as the fundermental questions to all other things, this is why I feel philosophy is more deserving of this title of being ''the most fundermental subject'' than maths which compared to philosophy, is more narrow in what it covers.
    Fair enough. Math talk coming up. As it happens mathematics doesn't really have a foundation. In place of an spotless foundation it has a collection of pretenders with one shared holistic theme. The theme is: "almost everything is nasty". In other words, taking a broad enough view, almost everything doesn't have any of the properties you want it to. Almost all statements can't be proved, almost all real numbers can't be computed, almost all real -> real functions are not continuous, etc.

    Mathematics that people actually do is about nice stuff (usually). But a logical foundation has to cater for the monsters that pure logic breeds, as Poincare would have it. Oh and Russell's paradox has to be avoided, which is probably even more of a pain in the butt.

    So in light of the absence of a really coherent foundation for mathematics (sorry, but just saying "philosophy" is not good enough), and the almost total lack of problems engendered by this messy state of affairs, it is ironic that (a) mathematics is a foundation for other subjects, (b) that mathematics is seen as more solid and fundamental in general than other subjects, and (c) that being "fundamental" is even important at all.

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