more from Euclid

Single Idea 1600

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 5. Definitions of Number / b. Greek arithmetic]

Full Idea

The best known example of Euclid's 'common notions' is "If equals are subtracted from equals the remainders are equal". These can be called axioms, and are what "the man who is to learn anything whatever must have".


'Axioms' are the initial assumptions

Gist of Idea

Euclid's common notions or axioms are what we must have if we are to learn anything at all


report of Euclid (Elements of Geometry [c.290 BCE], 72a17) by David Roochnik - The Tragedy of Reason p.149

Book Reference

Roochnik,David: 'The Tragedy of Reason: the Platonic logos' [Routledge 1990], p.149