# The Meaning in Numbers

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Bowser, Dec 7, 2018.

1. ### BowserNamasteValued Senior Member

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Is there any intrinsic meaning in numbers? Are they just assigned meaning by people and therefore have their value?

3. ### Beer w/StrawTranscendental Ignorance!Valued Senior Member

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I'd buy that for a dollar!

5. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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TheFrogger and Beer w/Straw like this.

7. ### sideshowbobSorry, wrong number.Valued Senior Member

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If there was, wouldn't that mean numerology was valid?

8. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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Are you asking "do numbers have any objective reality?" Then the answer is yes. 2 rocks is 2 rocks no matter who is talking about them.
Are you asking "do numbering systems vary?" Also yes. Roman numeral IV is the same as Arabic numeral 4, and those choices are more or less arbitrary.
Are you asking "do physical measurement have any fixed, objective scaling to numbering systems?" No. Fahrenheit is just as valid as Celsius, and miles are just as valid as kilometers. Some systems (like the metric system) relate units to each other more logically, though.

9. ### arfa branecall me arfValued Senior Member

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The numbers you get when you concatenate symbols from the set {0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9} are called the natural numbers (no minus signs). These are understood around the world to have a certain exact meaning.

You could use a different set of symbols but you will need to define an order on them. The order of the above set is defined by adding 1 iteratively:

1 + 0 = 1
1 + 1 = 2
2 + 1 = 3
. . .

Anyone who learns the order of the so-called Arabic numerals knows how to count to a given number. Everyone learns the same order relation (how to count with the symbols), so everyone agrees on the value of a given string of symbols.

I shouldn't need to go into why there's a "universal" number system, although a hint might be that trade is very important to us.

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yes
yes

11. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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There is also meaning in the term "intrinsic values and functions" because they exist even without humans.

Numbers are the human accounting tools of the interactions of "values and functions" performing work in the universe.

12. ### originHeading towards oblivionValued Senior Member

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Reported.

Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2018
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13. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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Beatcha to it!

14. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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They are called natural numbers by humans as symbolic representations of "nameless" universal natural values and functions.

15. ### TheFroggerBannedValued Senior Member

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Bowser, mathematics is a universal language. Whatever language you use to describe a number, each is defining the same value. The numbering system we use scribes values (density) from the symbol. Even though this system was created by humans, I would argue that the symbol is describing a specific value, and therefore has a specific density (value.) ☺

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Density?

17. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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Is there any intrinsic meaning in anything? If you think there is, please give us a few examples.

18. ### TheFroggerBannedValued Senior Member

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Yes, density (value.) Two is twice the value of one, and three has thrice the value. These densities (values) are held in the symbols: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9. For larger values a column is added leftward, and the symbols are reused. 1 and 0 (which have already been used in the first ten numbers) Zero and one. However, there are still only ten symbols used: zero being the first, and nine being the tenth.

The decimal system can be understood by any human because we have ten fingers.

19. ### TheFroggerBannedValued Senior Member

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As written by Sir Isaac Newton:

0+1=1
1+1=2
1+1+1=3

etc...

What is most notable here is that one must finish (come to an end) before a whole unit can be counted.

20. ### SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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Well, you can buy one dollar for a dollar.
EB

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21. ### SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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So, it's two rocks have objective reality, not 2.
EB

22. ### SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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Your replying to this plug shows again how little you understand of what people say.
EB

23. ### SpeakpigeonValued Senior Member

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Well, just for the heck of it, let me suggest one.
Here it is. Each thing which exists, whatever it might be, is what it means intrinsically to be this thing.
Can't deny that, can you?
So, each number is the intrinsic meaning of this very number.
Not that it would matter in any way, though. Just for the heck of it. The intrinsic heck of it.
EB