Single Idea 10002

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Nature of Numbers / a. Numbers]

Full Idea

There are two ways to read to read '2 + 2 = 4', as singular ('two and two is four'), and as plural ('two and two are four').

Gist of Idea

'2 + 2 = 4' can be read as either singular or plural


Thomas Hofweber (Number Determiners, Numbers, Arithmetic [2005], 4.1)

Book Reference

-: 'Philosophical Review 114' [Phil Review 2005], p.194

A Reaction

Hofweber doesn't notice that this phenomenon occurs elsewhere in English. 'The team is playing well', or 'the team are splitting up'; it simply depends whether you are holding the group in though as an entity, or as individuals. Important for numbers.