What is the smallest positive integer that cannot be defined in less than twentyfive syllables?
(In reply to
re(6): Tentative solution REVISED (Paradoxes) by Sam)
Sam asks: "But can any set of positive integers exist without a least member?"
No. The proof is as follows.
Let S be a set of positive integers. S will either be finite or infinite. If S is finite, it is easy to show that S has a least member. Mathematical induction will prove that.
Suppose S is infinite. Arbitrarily select integer Z>1 in S. Now define set T as {all positive integers less than Z}. T is obviously finite, so T has a least element.
Let X be the least element of T that is also contained in S.
If there is no such X, then Z is the least element of S.
If there is such an X, then X is the least element of S.
Edited on April 15, 2004, 8:30 pm

Posted by Penny
on 20040415 20:27:28 