[FOM] real numbers

Alexander M Lemberg sandylemberg at juno.com
Wed May 14 00:51:59 EDT 2003

Aside from the structuralist analysis of many mathematical entities, with
which I agree, there is another point of view which relates specifically
to numbers. I believe that natural numbers were originally linguistically
more like adjectives (applying to sets) than nouns. As humanity's
conceptual requirements developed, the needs for fractions and rational,
negative, real, complex etc. numbers developed. As this happened, the
structuralist viewpoint gradually emerged, became ascendant, and then
became dominant, applying retroactively to the natural numbers. At least,
that is how I see it.


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