Definition:Natural Numbers/Historical Note

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Historical Note on Natural Numbers

The origin of the name natural numbers (considered by some authors to be a misnomer) originates with the Ancient Greeks, for whom the only numbers were the strictly positive integers $1, 2, 3, \ldots$


It is customary at this stage to quote the famous epigram of Leopold Kronecker, translated from the German in various styles, for example:

God created the natural numbers, and all the rest is the work of man.


Sources