Deflationism 101

In Kronecker we find the famous claim:

“God created the natural numbers (integers); fractions and real numbers, on the other hand, are the work of man.”

which Carnap translates as follows:

“The natural-number symbols are primitive symbols; the fractional expressions and the real-number expressions are introduced by definition.” (The Logical Syntax of Language, p. 305)

Maybe Carnap’s greatest achievement as a philosopher was his ability to remain totally unimpressed.

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