more from Gottlob Frege

Single Idea 18252

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Nature of Numbers / g. Real numbers]

Full Idea

If 'number' is the referent of a numerical symbol, a real number is the same as a ratio of quantities. ...A length can have to another length the same ratio as a mass to another mass.

Gist of Idea

Real numbers are ratios of quantities, such as lengths or masses


Gottlob Frege (Grundgesetze der Arithmetik 1 (Basic Laws) [1893], III.1.73), quoted by Michael Dummett - Frege philosophy of mathematics 21 'Frege's'

Book Reference

Dummett,Michael: 'Frege: philosophy of mathematics' [Duckworth 1991], p.269

A Reaction

This is part of a critique of Cantor and the Cauchy series approach. Interesting that Frege, who is in the platonist camp, is keen to connect the real numbers with natural phenomena. He is always keen to keep touch with the application of mathematics.