A simple definition of math

If the first thing children learn in math is counting, then could the answer to the question “What is math?” be technology for counting?

Traditional arithmetic fits this definition:

  • Addition is technology for counting in a positive direction
  • Subtraction is technology for counting in a negative direction
  • Multiplication is technology for counting in any direction away from zero.
  • Division is technology for counting in any direction toward zero.

Does the definition that “math is technology for counting” hold true for other areas?

  • Geometry is technology for counting spaces
  • Trigonometry is technology for counting lengths and angles
  • Statistics is technology for counting likelihoods
  • Calculus is technology for counting changes


I suppose that to disprove the definition that “math is technology for counting,” a person would have to define counting in such a way that does not fit into how an area of mathematics operates. I welcome your input in the comments below.

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