# Re: Numbers

```Bruno asked:* "are you OK with this?"*  -  NO, I am not OK:

as I follow, 0 is NOT a number, it does not change a number.
But how do you  *" A D D "* a number to another one if it is not identified
as a quantity? Can you add an electric train to the taste of a lolly-pop?
You speak about 'axioms' (- in my words they are inventions to prove a
theory's applicability.) So no *reversing* please: proving the theory by
axioms.```
```
May I repeat the main question: is YOUR number a quantity?
so you can add (two = *II *to three = *III* and get five = *IIIII*) ??
If THAT is your axiom then numbers are quantity specifiers.
We may AGREE on that, but then numbers are indeed the products of human
thinking applied as humans think. *Q E D *
*
*
*Bruno: "...**That's very good, but we can also develop general statement.
We would not have discover the universal number (the computers) without
agreeing on those principles."*
*
*
That's a practicality and very fortunate. Does not enlighten the problem of
what 'numbers' may be, if not quantifiers.
JOhn

On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 4:54 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

>
> On 01 May 2013, at 22:09, John Mikes wrote:
>
> Bruno asked why I have problems how to figure out *'numbers'*. * *
>
> In his texts (as I remember and I have no quotes at hand) the "world" can
> be construed from a large enough amount of numbers in simple arithmetical
> ways (addition-subtraction). Also: numbers do not mean quantities.
> If his older post with pegs (II=two, IIII=four etc.) is OK, the 'words'
> two and four DO mean quantities. If not, as 'numbers' they are meaningless
> combinations of letters (sounds?) we could call the series any way, as well
> as e.g.:
> tylba, chuggon, rpais, etc. for 1,2,3 - or take them from any other
> language (eins,zwei,drei, - egy, kettő, három) as they developed in diverse
> domains/lifestyles. The 'numbers' would be like "Ding an Sich" (German)
> however used as qualifiers for quantities if so applied (see Bruno's 'pegs'
> above).
>
>
> The terms we are using are not important. All we need is some agreement on
> some theory.
> Most things we need for the natural numbers can be derived from the
> following axioms (written in english):
>
> any number added to zero gives the number we started with (= x + 0 = x)
> 0 is not the successor of any natural number
> if two numbers are different, then they have different successors
> a number x added to a successor of a number y gives a successor of the sum
> of x and y.
>
> Are you OK with this?
>
> In science we know that we cannot define what we are talking about, but we
> can agree on some principles about them.
>

Bruno: *"...We would not have discover(ed) the universal number (the
computers) without agreeing on those principles." *
*
*
To have discovered the 'universal number'(?) (i.e. computers)
is fine but that does not imply understanding on numbers:
like "numbers are such as to be applicable for..." etc.
My agnosticism needs more than that. Sorry.

>
>
>
>
> More reasonably sounds the idea of my wife, Maria, who assigns the
> primitive development of quantities originally to proportions: "larger
> (amount)" - "smaller (amount)" evolving in some thousand centuries into the
> process of 'counting' the included units.
>
>
> That's very good, but we can also develop general statement. We would not
> have discover the universal number (the computers) without agreeing on
> those principles.
>
>
>
> I published on this list my thought for developing the Roman numbering
> signs. I started with 2 - a PAIR of hands etc. (not with one, which means
> only the existence) and branching into 5 (as fingers, as in pentaton music)
> already as 'many'.
>
>
> OK.
>
>
>
> I still have no idea what description could fit *'number'* in Bruno's
> usage (I did not study number -  theory - to keep my common sense
> (agnostic?) thinking free).
>
>
> See above.
>
> Bruno
>
> John

>
>
>
> John Mikes
>
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