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Why Does 1+1=2?

Date: 28 Feb 1995 22:27:08 -0500
From: Satinder K. Bhayana
Subject: WHY does 1+1=2?  Nobody that I ask has been able to answer that

Why does 1 + 1 = 2?  Nobody that I ask has been able to answer that 
question with explanation.  Notice the word "WHY" not "HOW"!!!  Please 
write back ASAP.

Date: 28 Feb 1995 23:35:47 -0500
From: Dr. Ken
Subject: Re: WHY does 1+1=2?  Nobody that I ask has been able to answer that

Here's a good reason that nobody you ask has been able to tell you 
WHY 1+1=2.  I quote from the February edition of the Newsletter of 
the Mathematical Association of America:

  ...when was the last time you saw a proof of a real theorem that 
	followed the strict rules of logic?  Remember, it took Whitehead 
	and Russell 362 pages of formal deduction in their mammoth work
	_Principia_Mathematica_ before they were able to prove 1+1=2.

It was nice that I happened to notice this yesterday, just in time for 
your question.  _Principia Mathematica_ was a work that attempted 
to codify all of the existing mathematics at that time, in an absolutely 
rigorous fashion.  After all, there are almost no proofs these days that
follow the strict rules of logic; they are simply chains of reasoning 
that convince mathematicians that such a formalized proof _could_ be 
given, but nobody actually wants to see them.

But you are wise to ask why 1+1=2.  I suggest you check out Whitehead 
and Russell's book, and see what they have to offer.

-Ken "Dr." Math
Associated Topics:
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