What Numbers Are Real?

We suggest that there can be epistemologically significant reasons why certain mathematical structures - such as the Real numbers - are more important than others. We explore several contexts in which considerations bearing on the choice of a fundamental numerical domain might arise. 1) Set theory. 2) Historical cases of extension of mathematical domains - why were negative numbers resisted, and why should we accept them as part of our fundamental numerical domain? 3) Using fewer reals in physics, without really noticing.
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DOI 10.2307/192805
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