Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A shorter, wittier sentence

The eminent linguistic philosopher J. L. Austin of Oxford once gave a lecture in which he asserted that there are many languages in which a double negative makes a positive, but none in which a double positive makes a negative — to which the Columbia philosopher Sidney Morgenbesser, sitting in the audience, sarcastically replied, “Yeah, yeah.”

Courtesy The .Plan, from a series of very nice articles explaining the philosophy of mathematics from the most basic standpoint (like, starting with Sesame Street).

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