more from Leopold Kronecker

Single Idea 12427

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 1. Mathematics]

Full Idea

All the results of significant mathematical research must ultimately be expressible in the simple forms of properties of whole numbers.

Gist of Idea

All of mathematics is properties of the whole numbers


Leopold Kronecker (works [1885], Vol 3/274), quoted by Philip Kitcher - The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge 09.5

Book Reference

Kitcher,Philip: 'The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge' [OUP 1984], p.223

A Reaction

I've always liked Kronecker's line, but I'm beginning to realise that his use of the word 'number' is simply out-of-date. Natural numbers have a special status, but not sufficient to support this claim.