# Zitate von Richard Dedekind

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## Richard Dedekind

**Geburtstag:** 6. Oktober 1831**Todesdatum:** 12. Februar 1916

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Julius Wilhelm Richard Dedekind war ein deutscher Mathematiker.

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### Zitate Richard Dedekind

### „That such comparisons with non-arithmetic notions have furnished the immediate occasion for the extension of the number-concept may, in a general way, be granted (though this was certainly not the case in the introduction of complex numbers); but this surely is no sufficient ground for introducing these foreign notions into arithmetic, the science of numbers.“

— Richard Dedekind

p, 125

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### „The above comparison of the domain R of rational numbers with a straight line has led to the recognition of the existence of gaps, of a certain incompleteness or discontinuity of the former, while we ascribe to the straight line completeness, absence of gaps, or continuity. In what then does this continuity consist? Everything must depend on the answer to this question, and only through it shall we obtain a scientific basis for the investigation of all continuous domains.“

— Richard Dedekind

p, 125

### „As professor in the Polytechnic School [autumn of 1858] in Zurich I found myself for the first time obliged to lecture upon the elements of the differential calculus and felt, more keenly than ever before, the lack of a really scientific foundation for arithmetic. In discussing the notion of the approach of a variable magnitude to a fixed limiting value, and especially in proving the theorem that every magnitude which grows continually, but not beyond all limits, must certainly approach a limiting value, I had recourse to geometric evidences. Even now such resort to geometric intuition in a first presentation of the differential calculus, I regard as exceedingly useful, from the didactic standpoint, and indeed indispensable, if one does not wish to lose too much time. But that this form of introduction into the differential calculus can make no claim to being scientific, no one will deny. For myself this feeling of dissatisfaction was so overpowering that I made the fixed resolve to keep meditating on the question till I should find a purely arithmetic and perfectly rigorous foundation for the principles of infinitesimal analysis.“

— Richard Dedekind

p, 125

### „The system R forms a well-arranged domain of one dimension extending to infinity on two opposite sides. What is meant by this is sufficiently indicated by my use of expressions borrowed from geometric ideas; but just for this reason it will be necessary to bring out clearly the corresponding purely arithmetic properties in order to avoid even the appearance as if arithmetic were in need of ideas foreign to it.“

— Richard Dedekind

p, 125

### „Addition is the combination of any arbitrary repetitions of the above-mentioned simplest act into a single act; from it in a similar way arises multiplication. While the performance of these two operations is always possible, that of the inverse operations, subtraction and division, proves to be limited. Whatever the immediate occasion may have been, whatever comparisons or analogies with experience, or intuition, may have led thereto; it is certainly true that just this limitation in performing the indirect operations has in each case been the real motive for a new creative act; thus negative and fractional numbers have been created by the human mind; and in the system of all rational numbers there has been gained an instrument of infinitely greater perfection. This system, which I shall denote by R, possesses first of all a completeness and self-containedness which I have designated... as characteristic of a body of numbers [Zahlkőrper] and which consists in this, that the four fundamental operations are always performable with any two individuals in R, i. e., the result is always an individual of R, the single case of division by the number zero being excepted.“

— Richard Dedekind

p, 125

### „The statement is so frequently made that the differential calculus deals with continuous magnitude, and yet an explanation of this continuity is nowhere given; even the most rigorous expositions of the differential calculus do not base their proofs upon continuity but, with more or less consciousness of the fact, they either appeal to geometric notions or those suggested by geometry, or depend upon theorems which are never established in a purely arithmetic manner. Among these, for example, belongs the above mentioned theorem, and a more careful investigation convinced me that this theorem, or any one equivalent to it, can be regarded in some way as a sufficient basis for infinitesimal analysis. It then only remained to discover its true origin in the elements of arithmetic and thus at the same time to secure a real definition of the essence of continuity. I succeeded Nov. 24, 1858.“

— Richard Dedekind

p, 125

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### „I regard the whole of arithmetic as a necessary, or at least natural, consequence of the simplest arithmetic act, that of counting, and counting itself as nothing else than the successive creation of the infinite series of positive integers in which each individual is defined by the one immediately preceding; the simplest act is the passing from an already-formed individual to the consecutive new one to be formed. The chain of these numbers forms in itself an exceedingly useful instrument for the human mind; it presents an inexhaustible wealth of remarkable laws obtained by the introduction of the four fundamental operations of arithmetic.“

— Richard Dedekind

p, 125

### „If a is any definite number, then all numbers of the system R fall into two classes, A1 and A2, each of which contains infinitely many individuals; the first class A1 comprises all numbers a1 that are < a, the second class A2 comprises all numbers a2 that are > a; the number a itself may be assigned at pleasure to the first or second class, being respectively the greatest number of the first class or the least of the second. In every case the separation of the system R into the two classes A1, A2 is such that every number of the first class A1 is less than every number of the second class A2.“

— Richard Dedekind

p, 125

### „The way in which the irrational numbers are usually introduced is based directly upon the conception of extensive magnitudes—which itself is nowhere carefully defined—and explains number as the result of measuring such a magnitude by another of the same kind. Instead of this I demand that arithmetic shall be developed out of itself.“

— Richard Dedekind

pp.9-10
Footnote: The apparent advantage of the generality of this definition of number disappears as soon as we consider complex numbers. According to my view, on the other hand, the notion of the ratio between two numbers of the same kind can be clearly developed only after the introduction of irrational numbers.

### „Just as negative and fractional rational numbers are formed by a new creation, and as the laws of operating with these numbers must and can be reduced to the laws of operating with positive integers, so we must endeavor completely to define irrational numbers by means of the rational numbers alone. The question only remains how to do this.“

— Richard Dedekind

p, 125