A Conversation for Irrational Numbers
26199 Started conversation Nov 21, 2000
Hmmm... it says in my maths text book:
'In the Greek world, the claim made by Pythagoras that root(2) was irrational cased an enormous philosophical upheaval in the intellectual community'
Are you sure you've got your facts straight? If not, I'll complain to my maths teacher next chance I get
26199 Posted Nov 21, 2000
Doh... got my logic inverted... that should have been 'If so, I'll complain to my maths teacher'...
Joe aka Arnia, Muse, Keeper, MathEd, Guru and Zen Cook (business is booming) Posted Nov 21, 2000
Byzantine Posted Nov 21, 2000
One of the problematic things about greek philosophers is how little real knowledge there is about them to substantiate what we know from legend to be great importance. For instance, it is not known wether Pythagoras himself produced the "Pythagorean Theorem" or if one or more of his followers did. On the one hand it is easy to attribute this discovery to the man, himself, but more likely it belongs to the later generations of the institution the man created.
Likewise for the attrocities performed in his name. What, if any, role Pythagoras had in the execution (if indeed any such execution occured... or in what manner) of the individual(s) who discovered irrational numbers is extremely suspect.
If there are sources that can be cited, they would be much appreciated.
Jim Lynn Posted Nov 21, 2000
Another possibly apocryphal Pythagoras anecdote was that he declared that beans have souls, so you can't eat them - because he didn't like eating beans.
Joe aka Arnia, Muse, Keeper, MathEd, Guru and Zen Cook (business is booming) Posted Nov 22, 2000
I think the murder of the student (Hippeaus) is quite easy to attribute to Pythagorus himself. The loss of the naturals (and ratios thereof) as being all there is of maths would have undermined Pythagorus' teachings and his status as guru. This was a very heavy cult.
3000 years is a long time to go back for details, but this seems a common story told about the events.
Bagpuss Posted Nov 22, 2000
It may be apochryphal, but it's a good story, so leave it in.
Marjin, After a long time of procrastination back lurking Posted Jun 11, 2001
Yes, it nicely demonstrates how a threat to "rational" beliefs creates irrational actions.
If you kill the messenger, the message disappears.
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: 26199 (Nov 21, 2000)
- 2: 26199 (Nov 21, 2000)
- 3: Joe aka Arnia, Muse, Keeper, MathEd, Guru and Zen Cook (business is booming) (Nov 21, 2000)
- 4: Byzantine (Nov 21, 2000)
- 5: Jim Lynn (Nov 21, 2000)
- 6: Joe aka Arnia, Muse, Keeper, MathEd, Guru and Zen Cook (business is booming) (Nov 22, 2000)
- 7: Bagpuss (Nov 22, 2000)
- 8: Marjin, After a long time of procrastination back lurking (Jun 11, 2001)
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