# Purpose of conditional in context

What is the purpose of the conditional here?

It is often said that mathematics is the language of science. If this is true, then an essential part of the language of mathematics is numbers.

That numbers are an essential part of mathematics surely holds regardless of whether mathematics is the language of science, no?

• I agree; the logical connection isn't obvious to me either. Jan 1, 2022 at 17:09
• I've come across this illogical putting together of propositions in a conditional structure. I've learned to read say << 'It is often said that mathematics is the language of science. If this is true, then an essential part of the language of mathematics is numbers.' >> as << 'It is often said that mathematics is the language of science. If this is true, then we must further consider this fact: an essential part of the language of mathematics is numbers. (+ a claimed consequence)' >> I admit, I can't see where this is going other than to something facile like 'Numbers are really important.' Jan 1, 2022 at 19:41
• Anything about mathematics that starts by misrepresenting language is apt to be worthless about mathematics, too. Find another book. Jan 2, 2022 at 14:45

If can mean allowing that or on the assumption that (m-w) and not only in the event that used for a hypothetical. For example the mother hears her child at the front door and calls out "If you are going out, take your jacket!" meaning "Since/assuming you are going out, take your jacket!" or "If you are going to use that kind of language, I'm leaving" ("Since/because you are using that kind of language, I'm leaving").

I interpret your second sentence as:

[Given/since/assuming/accepting that mathematics is the language of science and delving further since we want to do science, we see/should recognize that] an essential part of the language of mathematics is numbers.

or, more briefly:

Assuming this is true, we can go on to say that an essential part of the language of mathematics is numbers.

We have to assume that mathematics is a language in order to say that numbers are a part of that language:

If it is true that mathematics is a language, then an essential part of that language is numbers.

If it’s a language, it has grammar and syntax — with numbers instead of, say, nouns. If it’s not a language, we have nothing to talk about here. We would just say that an essential part of math is numbers.

“Not everyone agrees that mathematics is a language,” says Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., in ThoughtCo’s Why Mathematics Is a Language.