How many fingers do I have?

What did you say? And what did you mean by it?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Philosophy Explorer
Posts: 4383
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

How many fingers do I have?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sun May 07, 2017 3:46 pm

It's not ten. I've checked the etymologies and definitions of both finger and thumb so my answer is eight fingers and two thumbs.

PhilX

commonsense
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by commonsense » Tue May 09, 2017 1:33 am

I agree with you, PhilX.
But consider this--the value of one is somewhere between zero and two.
One quadrillionth is between zero and two.
If the number of fingers is eight and the value of one is a quadrillionth, the value of eight ones will be eight quadrillionths.
To a person counting fingers, eight quadrillionths would appear to be infinitesimally close to zero.
So, for infinitesimally small values of the number one, a person has zero fingers.
Actually, this is no joke, just as your answer is no joke.
With regard to etymologies and definitions I agree with you, PhilX.

Philosophy Explorer
Posts: 4383
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Tue May 09, 2017 2:10 am

commonsense wrote:I agree with you, PhilX.
But consider this--the value of one is somewhere between zero and two.
One quadrillionth is between zero and two.
If the number of fingers is eight and the value of one is a quadrillionth, the value of eight ones will be eight quadrillionths.
To a person counting fingers, eight quadrillionths would appear to be infinitesimally close to zero.
So, for infinitesimally small values of the number one, a person has zero fingers.
Actually, this is no joke, just as your answer is no joke.
With regard to etymologies and definitions I agree with you, PhilX.
I'm assuming by "one quadrillionth", you mean one quadrillionth of one. In math, the value of one is commonly agreed to be one. Therefore it wouldn't make sense to say the value of eight ones will be eight quadrillionths as you stated. So it doesn't follow, by common agreement in math, that a person has zero fingers.

Back to the drawing board.

PhilX

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 2653
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by Greta » Tue May 09, 2017 2:12 am

A bit of Wiki:
The first digit is the thumb, followed by index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and little finger or pinky. According to different definitions, the thumb can be called a finger, or not.
Also, if things had been different, maybe we might have classified the digits by function rather than location and appearance? In that case the thumb and first two fingers might be thought of as "primary claspers" and the other two "auxiliary claspers".

Philosophy Explorer
Posts: 4383
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Tue May 09, 2017 2:20 am

In the normal human hand, the thumb is situated well below where the fingers are. In grabbing (a tool such as a hammer), the four fingers work together to grab the base of the hammer while the thumb works against the fingers to more firmly grab the hammer.

PhilX

Walker
Posts: 4021
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:00 am

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by Walker » Tue May 09, 2017 7:08 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:It's not ten. I've checked the etymologies and definitions of both finger and thumb so my answer is eight fingers and two thumbs.

PhilX
Did the recent reference to the Princess Bride on PN spark your interest in hands?
Or, was it the Trump reference?
Or, if something else, what?
Tell the truth, so help you God.

I was born with nine and two, but they chopped one off with the intent of making me like everyone else.

:wink:

Philosophy Explorer
Posts: 4383
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Tue May 09, 2017 9:53 am

Walker wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:It's not ten. I've checked the etymologies and definitions of both finger and thumb so my answer is eight fingers and two thumbs.

PhilX
Did the recent reference to the Princess Bride on PN spark your interest in hands?
Or, was it the Trump reference?
Or, if something else, what?
Tell the truth, so help you God.

I was born with nine and two, but they chopped one off with the intent of making me like everyone else.

:wink:
Just a good scientific-styled mind with a little time on its hands. :wink:

I think the ten fingers designation came about due to convenience sake (just easier to say).

PhilX

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 2653
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by Greta » Tue May 09, 2017 10:57 am

You can't go wrong calling them digits, Phil (aside from confusing the word as meaning numbers, toes or penises).

Philosophy Explorer
Posts: 4383
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Tue May 09, 2017 11:04 am

Greta wrote:You can't go wrong calling them digits, Phil (aside from confusing the word as meaning numbers, toes or penises).
So I got 21 digits, one of which is very special to women, my oh my.

PhilX

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 2653
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by Greta » Tue May 09, 2017 12:37 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Greta wrote:You can't go wrong calling them digits, Phil (aside from confusing the word as meaning numbers, toes or penises).
So I got 21 digits, one of which is very special to women, my oh my.

PhilX
Aka the pinky.

Philosophy Explorer
Posts: 4383
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Tue May 09, 2017 2:05 pm

Greta wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Greta wrote:You can't go wrong calling them digits, Phil (aside from confusing the word as meaning numbers, toes or penises).
So I got 21 digits, one of which is very special to women, my oh my.

PhilX
Aka the pinky.
My Oh My!

PhilX

commonsense
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by commonsense » Tue May 09, 2017 2:32 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:I'm assuming by "one quadrillionth", you mean one quadrillionth of one.
This is a fair assumption, and a table of numbers will confirm it.
Philosophy Explorer wrote:In math(emphasis added), the value of one is commonly agreed to be one. Therefore it wouldn't make sense to say the value of eight ones will be eight quadrillionths as you stated. So it doesn't follow, by common agreement in math, that a person has zero fingers.
This is true, however in "metamath" (actually in number theory or philosophy of numbers), a number may be assigned a value and that value must only be greater than the preceding number and less than the succeeding number. There need not be a common agreement until a value is assigned.

I think of it this way: suppose I have a stopwatch marked off in seconds and I am timing an athlete, say a swimmer or a downhill skier. My stopwatch is marked off to the nearest 0.1 second. If the swimmer swims or the skier skis for xx.01 seconds, I can read the time as xx.0 seconds but not to any degree more accurately. Theoretically, doing away with one word, "nearest", sets in motion a dilemma of infinite proportion. Counting can be strange that way.

In my excitement--I love numbers, numerals, sets and stuff--I put the cart of the abstract ahead of the horse of common sense.

Philosophy Explorer
Posts: 4383
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Tue May 09, 2017 3:42 pm

commonsense wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:I'm assuming by "one quadrillionth", you mean one quadrillionth of one.
This is a fair assumption, and a table of numbers will confirm it.
Philosophy Explorer wrote:In math(emphasis added), the value of one is commonly agreed to be one. Therefore it wouldn't make sense to say the value of eight ones will be eight quadrillionths as you stated. So it doesn't follow, by common agreement in math, that a person has zero fingers.
This is true, however in "metamath" (actually in number theory or philosophy of numbers), a number may be assigned a value and that value must only be greater than the preceding number and less than the succeeding number. There need not be a common agreement until a value is assigned.

I think of it this way: suppose I have a stopwatch marked off in seconds and I am timing an athlete, say a swimmer or a downhill skier. My stopwatch is marked off to the nearest 0.1 second. If the swimmer swims or the skier skis for xx.01 seconds, I can read the time as xx.0 seconds but not to any degree more accurately. Theoretically, doing away with one word, "nearest", sets in motion a dilemma of infinite proportion. Counting can be strange that way.

In my excitement--I love numbers, numerals, sets and stuff--I put the cart of the abstract ahead of the horse of common sense.
Can you give examples of preassigned numbers that don't have a value?

PhilX

commonsense
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by commonsense » Tue May 09, 2017 9:29 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:Can you give examples of preassigned numbers that don't have a value?
PhilX
I will try to, but first I need to understand what you mean by "preassigned numbers". Would you please clarify for me?

Philosophy Explorer
Posts: 4383
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

Re: How many fingers do I have?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Tue May 09, 2017 9:30 pm

commonsense wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:Can you give examples of preassigned numbers that don't have a value?
PhilX
I will try to, but first I need to understand what you mean by "preassigned numbers". Would you please clarify for me?
Sure. Those are numbers you haven't assigned values to.

PhilX

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests