What is the number 2? | Kit Fine | TEDxNewYork

Where do numbers come from? Are they “real”? Philosopher and mathematician Kit Fine asks these questions and more in an instructive lesson on the nature of numbers. Kit Fine explores the…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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13 Responses

  1. Worldwide Center of Mathematics says:

    Good lecture. Have you taken a step back to think about what numbers really


  2. Ryan Ortega says:

    It’s a wonderful thing to see Kit Fine on here.

  3. PepeLePepper says:

    Not being a mathematician myself, I’ve always been bothered that a number
    can, on the one hand, be used to represent a thing while, on the other
    hand, it can be used to show a relationship. For example, in 2+2 = 4, the
    “2” is a representation of a countable thing (2 apples + 2 apples).
    However, in an equation like 10/5 = 2, the “2” defines the relationship
    between the number 5 to the number 10 (5 goes into 10 two times). It seems
    (to me) logically inconsistent to say 3 – 1 = 10/5, because the result on
    either side of the equation is not the same “type” of 2. It’s akin to that
    particle/wave duality in physics, where one measure represent a countable
    thing (a particle), while another measures the relationship (wave). 

  4. AkFurley03 says:

    I really wish I understood him better.. It is hard for me to conceptualize
    what he is describing aren’t the Frege-Russel view and the Cantor view the

  5. Filip Dolinkievich says:

    Nice job, now let’s do it with imaginary number sets. ;)

  6. john ondrick says:

    cantors theorem relates to this

  7. dunand stephane says:

    sur les nombres.

  8. Takayuki Kawamoto says:
  9. Pasha Bukhenko says:
  10. volodask says:

    Oh god, this is what I call underwhelming. Today’s philosophy is in a deep

  11. Richard Mario says:


  12. Justin Dones says:


  13. Jay L. says:

    What are numbers. It took him 13 minutes to answer. While it took me 4
    seconds to count from 0 to 9

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