Why does 1+1=2?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by qfrontier, Mar 9, 2003.

  1. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

    That's what I was suspecting... but he said 'a mirror'
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  3. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    if you put two mirrors on either side of an orange, you would see alot of oranges. but there would be one orange there.

    as for 1+1=? it can equal anything you want it to. these are the numbers that reside outside of reality, in theoretical math. rules still aply, but in different ways. 1+1=2 because 2-1=1. that works because arithmatic was invented and molded to match the physical properties of the world.

    If the dumbly simple laws of math rub you the wrong way, you don't have to feel alone- it an invented system. there is an infinate number of cases where 1+1 does not equal 2. Abstract algebra and number theory in an undergrade Math Major will open up worlds for you.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2003
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  5. A4Ever Knows where his towel is Registered Senior Member

    Found this on Nietzsche:

    The obvious, and sometimes justified, objection to lots of talk about relative truths and perspectives and the like is: "But aren't there some things that are simply true or simply false? That 1 + 1 = 2 doesn't depend on my perspective." True enough. To understand what Nietzsche means, we need to understand his conception of the will to power.

    According to Nietzsche, the significant fact about the universe is that it is always changing. A philosophy of facts and things only reinforces the misconception that the universe is fixed. Nietzsche identifies will as the agent of all change in the universe, and so focuses his philosophy more on the will. All wills struggle for domination, independence, and power over one another, which is the source of change in the universe. This change is thus effected by what Nietzsche calls the "will to power," the struggle for independence and dominance over other wills. Nietzsche sees people not as "things" or "selves" but as a complex of wills, all struggling with one another for domination. He calls philosophy the "most spiritual will to power" because it is an attempt on the part of the philosopher to impose his prejudices and assumptions--his "spirit"--on everyone else. The philosopher wants his will to be "truth."

    To return to the earlier objection, 1 + 1 = 2 without a doubt, but this truth is a simple fact, and we only get a part of the picture unless we ask who asserts it and why. Why would a mathematician devote his entire life to the pursuit of such truths? What does that say about the mathematician? What does it then say about the truths? What wills are at play, what will is dominant in the pursuit of mathematics? These are the questions that interest Nietzsche, as a philosopher of the will, and not of facts and things. The "truths" of philosophers are expressions of their wills and not simple facts. A particular perspective taken on the truth is evidence for a particular will claiming dominance.

    Interesting aspect of "1+1=2". It gets you nowhere.
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  7. Charles Fleming Registered Senior Member

    Good post A4ever! Surely '1 + 1 = 2' gets one some kind of truth though?! While I would say that humanity hasn't discovered truths like this but has created them, given them a name and a symbol, if it was not truth then why has it become so successful in utilizing the universe? Reason, and our ability to do so, has created Science which has given rise to our technology which is remarkable! This must be one thing that sets us apart and can allow us to find truth, to some extent at least.

    Why has evolutionary change given rise to this though? Genetic mutations?? If this is true then something has been sparked which means that we can recognize and become part of existence which other creatures cannot do. Does this mean that on another planet somewhere other genetic mutations (which are supposed to be truely random) mean that (nature granting) other creatures have something that we do not have? Something that is so much higher and on a different plane to our gift?
  8. CHRISCUNNINGHAM The Ethereal Paradigm Registered Senior Member

    This is an excellent question that I have been asking myself.

    Think about it...


    Ok, so when I have two ones, and add them together, I then get this new concept of two.......
  9. qfrontier Captain Of Starship Registered Senior Member

    And you know how some insects see more than one image of the same object...Lets say a bee can see 8 images of the same object. What is 1+1 for us is 8+8 in our terms. But maybe for that bee from its perspective 8=1 and so 16=2, could it be?
  10. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

    No. It is most likely that they still only 'see' 1 object, in the same way we do. We get 2 images from 2 eyes, but only 'see' 1.
  11. Are you certain about that, Persol? Keep in mind that the compound eyes of insects are anatomically quite a bit different from our own eyes.
    Hmmmmm I think I agree with you though . .

    I believe that each eye is independent, gathering information without the aid of its fellow orbs and sending its observations to the nerve center, the brain of the given insect.

    However, I would suppose that you would be correct in that the insect's brain should, in order to maintain efficiency, combine the profusion of extremely detailed vistas into a greater, more encompassing panorama.

    Each eye would "see" a small image of the cynosure, which would, consequently, be "seen" by the mind as sort of condensation and elaboration of the smaller views, a larger, pandemic view which included every detail noted by the numerous lesser organs.

    Ummmm, let us say that minor Eye A observed Ray of Light A falling on an apple in region A and in no other regions, whereas minor Eye B saw Ray of Light A falling on the apple in regions A and B. Then minor Eye C might have reported no light on any region of the apple.

    The greater vision of the insect would have to accomodate for all of the different perspectives, acknowledging that light fell differently for each of the separate angles. I'm not certain as to how this could be accomplished but if it were then the final optical product the insect would receive would be complicated yet expedient.
  12. RIGHT! So that's how it works . . . ya know, I just couldn't figure how it could be so . . .

    Now I think I'll go shove sharpened pencils into my eyes, and a bar od soap up my ass, and my dick into a meat grinder.
  13. Mystech Adult Supervision Required Registered Senior Member

    1+1=2 simply because if you have a quantiative unit defined as one, and then take one more unit, you are then in possesion of two units. This is simple, you can even try it at home, kids! At no time will this law fail you, trust me, they build airplanes and run rail roads based on this principal, it hasn't failed yet.
  14. CHRISCUNNINGHAM The Ethereal Paradigm Registered Senior Member


    Of course, because Logic is always correct unless used incorrectly.

    Meaning that logic always stays consistent within its own system. HOWEVER if the given absolute that is assumed to be true in that system, is not true in another, then that Logic would in fact fail in the system where its Given Absolute is not true.

    That is EXACTLY where the paradox lies!!

    If you have one, then you have two ones, you can add them together and get this new concept of two.

    Thus if I have no defintion of two, YET I conjure this new idea, and try to define it based on reflexive properties, what is accomplished by this......Absolutely nothing but exercising my imagination at the expense of reality.

    A=A because A is A.

    So....what is A......
  15. New concept of two?
    At the expense of reality?


    Perhaps the crux of this affair which vexes you to such a startling degree transcends my feeble intellect. Perhaps 1+1=2 is not merely the elementary, mechanical operation I have presumed it to be.
    Perhaps it is an anagogic cornucopia, a cryptic, infinitely abstruse and complex idea which epitomizes the proverbial fount of all man's industrious labours, resplendent constructs, and scholarly teachings.
    Perhaps it is, indeed, a sublime and perplexing revelation to be regarded by all men as wondrous and worshipful.
    Perhaps there is actually something palatable, something substantial and exquisite to be surmised in this discourse upon the nature of 1 and 2 and the interactions occurring therebetween.
    Perhaps I am being too critical, and you might share some significant, insightful speculation pertaining to the technical reasoning which justifies that 1 item accompanied by another 1 item can be summarized with the symbol 2, meaning one and one items adjoined.

    Perhaps . . . nah . . . I think that only a moron can't perceive the logic of 1, a symbol for a single item + 1, a symbol for a single item = 2, this symbol being a nifty combination of all the symbols presented earlier
  16. CHRISCUNNINGHAM The Ethereal Paradigm Registered Senior Member

    I think maybe a moron can't "percieve" the logic....

    However I still have one question.

    What is two??

    Or is 2, 2 because 2=2, and 2 is defined as having "MORE than one" 1?
  17. 2 is 1 item accompanied by another 1 item.

    Furthermore, 3 is 1 item accompanied by 2 items (or vice versa) (2 being "1 item accompanied by another 1 item").

    Et cetera . . .
  18. Mystech Adult Supervision Required Registered Senior Member

    With all due respect, what the fuck are you talking about?

    You're trying too hard to think your way around the fact that this ALWAYS works. Your argument is essentially "Ahh yes but if I hit myself in the head with a hammer really hard, I can't see either of the things that I have, and as such how do I know they exist?! They don't! What a paradox!"

    If I just happen to be missing an actual intelligent point, rather than meanings babble, then please, rephrase this idea a little more clearly.
  19. Mystech Adult Supervision Required Registered Senior Member

    Or three could also be 1+1+1 or 2+1 or just 3=3 it's all an expression for the exact same thing, if anyone here has a problem with that, time to head back to first year Algebra.
  20. CHRISCUNNINGHAM The Ethereal Paradigm Registered Senior Member

    {1, 1}

    There is a quantity of two ones above correct???


    Now, how is it that what is defined as having a quantity of two Ones, is then used to define what the quantity Two is.


    Two ones, added together equal two.

    When one changes the WORDING "2 being 1 item accompanied by another 1 item" he does NOT change the meaning.

    The word "another" implies that have more than One.

    Now, how can I have "more than one", before I have defined what "more than one" is???

    And equally, how can I define this concept of "more than one" by using a quantity that is "more than one"???

    Now I can answer this fairly simply...."You can't, by nonparadoxical/logical means, unless you CONJURE a new concept and simply deifine it with itself"

    Yes it always works, because logic is ALWAYS correct unless used incorrectly.

    If I use an axiom/given/aboslute that I assume to be true, HOWEVER outside of my logical system (where it is assumed [NOT proven] to be correct and is an absolute) there is another logical system, where this aboslute is NOT true, and is proven to be incorrect, hence, my entire logic based on that assumption is also incorrect.

    Two really doesnt exist and is a simple tool imagined to measure things, HOWEVER it alters what it is that it's measuring, and changes reality as a whole.

    Without this conjured idea of Two, there is nothing but One(and MAYBE zero). No time passes, nothing happens, nothing else exists....there is only One.

    If you dont believe me then prove to me that 2 exists......
  21. bold standard Registered Senior Member

    Yes, this is true. Only additional comment to avoid confusion: remember words stand for concepts. Valid concepts correspond to reality. So another reason that 1+1=2 is that, since A can not equal not-A at the same time and in the same respect (Aristotle), if 1+1 didn't equal 2, no logic would apply, thus the statement would invalidate itself.

    So it's a good question.. there are those who would contend that just because 1+1=2 is a valid statement doesn't mean it's true. But actually, it is, because it corresponds to reality. This might seem "too easy" to be relevent, but in fact you can use this simple analogy to disprove all kinds of bad philosophies, like the analytic-synthetic dichotomy, for instance. See? There's a good reason they teach you 1+1=2 when you're still young- it's relevant to life on earth!
  22. mister62 Good Gravy Registered Senior Member

    We made 1+1=2.
  23. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    if you have one particle, and a second particle, and you add them together, you get two particles.

    unless one of the particles is anti-matter, and you get 0 particles. or if you add the two particles in just the right way, and then they have no kinetic energy (therefore they are undetectable), and you really should call the result undefined...

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