more from Pythagoras

Single Idea 7485

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Nature of Numbers / m. One]

Full Idea

For Pythagoreans, one, 1, is not a true number but the 'essence' of number, out of which the number system emerges.

Gist of Idea

For Pythagoreans 'one' is not a number, but the foundation of numbers


report of Pythagoras (reports [c.530 BCE], Ch.8) by Peter Watson - Ideas Ch.8

Book Reference

Watson,Peter: 'Ideas: from fire to Freud' [Phoenix 2006], p.245

A Reaction

I think this is right! Counting and numbers only arise once the concept of individuality and identity have arisen. Counting to one is no more than observing the law of identity. 'Two' is the big adventure.