Making peace with negative numbers

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.”

From a fascinating article entitled “The Enemy of My Enemy” by Steven Strogatz, professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University, in The New York Times.

Hat tip: The Computational Legal Studies Blog

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