In section 3 of
- J. Frank Adams -- Stable homotopy theory (3rd ed., LNM 3, 1969)
the author discusses two different attitudes towards what the "proper" definition of the stable homotopy category should be, which he personifies by the tortoise and the hare:
The hare is an idealist: his preferred position is one of elegant and all embracing generality. He wants to build a new heaven and a new earth and no half-measures. ... The tortoise, on the other hand, takes a much more restrictive view. He says that his modest aim is to make a cleaner statement of known theorems, and he'd like to put a lot of restrictions on his stable objects so as to be sure that his category has all the good properties he may need. Of course, the tortoise tends to put on more restrictions than are necessary, but the truth is that the restrictions give him confidence.
You can decide which side you're on by contemplating the Spanier-Whitehead dual of an Eilenberg-MacLane object. This is a "complex" with "cells" in all stable dimensions from $-\infty$ to $-n$. According to the hare, Eilenberg-MacLane objects are good, Spanier-Whitehead duality is good, therefore this is a good object: And if the negative dimensions worry you, he leaves you to decide whether you are a tortoise or a chicken. According to the tortoise, on the other hand, the first theorem in stable homotopy theory is the Hurewicz Isomorphism Theorem, and this object has no dimension at all where that theorem is applicable, and he doesn't mind the hare introducing this object as long as he is allowed to exclude it. Take the nasty thing away!