Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: No Below Zero... or a name for the absence of quantity...
Replies: 36   Last Post: Oct 9, 2017 1:27 PM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 mitchrae3323@gmail.com Posts: 146 Registered: 9/12/17
Re: No Below Zero... or a name for the absence of quantity...
Posted: Oct 4, 2017 9:52 PM

On Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 7:02:24 PM UTC-7, Quadibloc wrote:
> On Monday, October 2, 2017 at 6:41:47 PM UTC-6, mitchr...@gmail.com wrote:
>

> > Math is going forward to a simplified new.
>
> It is true that the original concept of numbers was to answer the question
> "How many?",

Then why do we need zero?
You do not know. I do.
It is to set bases.

Mitchell Raemsch

and while you can have three of something, or none of that same
> thing, you can't really have a negative quantity of anything - only a quantity
> of some different thing which, in some sense, is opposite to the original
> thing.
>
> So a debt of one dollar is not the exact opposite of a dollar bill.
>
> However, in areas where the concept of negative numbers is still useful,
> nothing is made simpler - things just become more complicated and awkward - if
> we give up negative numbers and the ability to do arithmetic with them.
>
> Saying that for clarity mathematicians should admit that complex numbers *and
> even negative numbers* aren't unproblematically part of the original concept
> of number, but are instead extensions to that concept *is valid*; expecting
> these extensions to be dispensed with is not.
>
> John Savard