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Topic: Skepticism, mysticism, Jewish mathematics
Replies: 115   Last Post: Aug 7, 2006 1:30 AM

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Craig Feinstein

Posts: 398
Registered: 12/13/04
Re: Skepticism, mysticism, Jewish mathematics
Posted: Jul 27, 2006 3:14 PM
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Toni Lassila wrote:
> On 27 Jul 2006 09:34:28 -0700, "Craig Feinstein" <cafeinst@msn.com>
> wrote:
>

> >If you look at Jewish Talmudic sources, you'll see that rigorous and
> >sophisticated mathematics was never really so high on the list of
> >priorities for the rabbis.

>
> This claim, like many by Craig Feinstein, is dubious:
>
> http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WJ3-4CYGBRF-MG&_user=10&_coverDate=08%2F31%2F1985&_rdoc=1&_fmt=summary&_orig=browse&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=320a9584cc080f579d37232f48d8bac6
>
> Game theoretic analysis of a bankruptcy problem from the Talmud
>
> Robert J. Aumann and Michael Maschler
>
> The Hebrew University, 91904, Jerusalem, Israel
>
> Abstract
>
> For three different bankruptcy problems, the 2000-year old Babylonian
> Talmud prescribes solutions that equal precisely the nucleoli of the
> corresponding coalitional games. A rationale for these solutions that
> is independent of game theory is given in terms of the Talmudic
> principle of equal division of the contested amount; this rationale
> leads to a unique solution for all bankruptcy problems, which always
> coincides with the nucleolus. Two other rationales for the same rule
> are suggested, in terms of other Talmudic principles. (Needless to
> say, the rule in question is not proportional division).


I repeat, "rigorous and sophisticated mathematics was never really so
high on the list of priorities for the rabbis". Basically, the math
they did was simply the application of grade-school math and some basic
geometry to Jewish Law. You have to go to a university, in this case
"The Hebrew University" (which is really built on Greek, not Jewish
ideals, despite its name) in order to get a game-theoretic analysis of
this particular Mishnah in the Talmud. The Talmud isn't concerned with
the game-theoretic properties of this solution to the bankruptcy
problem. (This is something that the Ancient Greeks would have been
interested in.) The Talmud just discusses the application of the
particular solution given in the Mishnah to Jewish Law. Average Jewish
children can and do learn this passage in the Talmud without any
background in higher level mathematics.

Craig



Date Subject Author
7/25/06
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David Petry
7/25/06
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fishfry
7/25/06
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Dr. David Kirkby
7/25/06
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7/25/06
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lloyd
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Virgil
7/26/06
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Mike Kelly
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David Petry
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Gene Ward Smith
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7/26/06
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herbzet
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herbzet
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herbzet
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herbzet
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herbzet
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Gene Ward Smith
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Gerry Myerson
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7/27/06
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Richard Herring
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zr
8/1/06
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7/31/06
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7/31/06
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8/1/06
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8/2/06
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8/3/06
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8/4/06
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8/5/06
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7/30/06
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7/28/06
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herbzet
7/28/06
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herbzet
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mensanator
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herbzet
7/27/06
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herbzet
7/29/06
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7/26/06
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7/27/06
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Toni Lassila
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Craig Feinstein
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Rupert
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zr
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7/29/06
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zr
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Virgil
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