Representing Numbers

  • Michał Wrocławski Instytut Filozofii, Uniwersytet Warszawski
Słowa kluczowe: representations of numbers, numerals, computable functions, characteristic functions, identity


The purpose of this paper is to consider the question of how we can represent numbers (especially natural numbers) and how our choice of a representation affects our ability to compute various functions. In particular, we show the importance of computability of the characteristic function of identity in a representation of numbers. It turns out that it is a very strong assumption that significantly increases the scope of our knowledge about a given representation, including our ability
to tell which functions are computable in this representation.


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Shapiro S. (1982), "Acceptable Notation," Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 23(1), 14-20.
Zdanowski K. (2012), On Notation Systems for Natural Numbers and Polynomial Time Computations, Numbers and Truth, Gothenburg (unpublished slides from a conference).
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Wrocławski, M. (2018). Representing Numbers. Filozofia Nauki, 26(4), 57-73.